All around the country, states are beginning to legalize the use of marijuana. While it seems like a cut-and-dry issue (legality vs. illegality) there’s actually much more to it than that. New York, which decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana way back in 1977, still has fairly strict bylaws governing other facets of marijuana use and possession firmly set in place. Even the notion of decriminalization comes with caveats: marijuana possession in plain and open view is still illegal, and one is still forbidden to transport or sell marijuana in any sizable quantities. Medical marijuana has been legalized, but cultivating marijuana will still earn you a misdemeanor.
Suddenly, the issue doesn’t seem so clear cut. If you’re having trouble parsing the various rules governing marijuana and marijuana possession in the state of New York, you may want to enlist the help of seasoned drug law professionals. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we’re well-versed in the intricacies of drug possession law. If you’ve been charged with a crime, we can help you make sense of the charges and keep you informed as to what you may be up against. From there, we can help you mount a strong defense and attempt to lessen the severity of the fines or jail sentences levied against you.
While getting caught holding 25 or less grams of marijuana will simply warrant a ticket, possessing more than that leads to increasingly severe penalties. Here’s a table detailing the consequences of all marijuana-related crimes.
|Amount of Marijuana||Penalty|
|25 grams or less||
Unlawful possession of marijuana: Violation. (Likely a ticket + ~$100fee for the first offense)
Marijuana possession in the 5th degree: However, if you are knowingly and unlawfully in public view, you may be charged with a (Class-B) misdemeanor. You may also receive this charge if you are holding between 25 grams and 2 ounces of marijuana. (Up to $500 fine + up to 3 months in jail)
|Between 2 and 8 ounces||
Marijuana possession in the 4th degree.
(Up to $1,000 fine + up 1 year in jail)
|Between 8 and 16 ounces||
Marijuana possession in the 3rd degree.
(Up to $5,000 fine + up to 4 years in jail)
|Between 16 ounces and 10 pounds||
Marijuana possession in the 2nd degree.
(Up to $5,000 fine + up to 7 years in jail)
|Over 10 pounds||
Marijuana possession in the 1st degree.
(Up to $15,000 fine + up to 15 years in jail)
A more serious crime than possession of marijuana is the sale, or intent to sell, marijuana. If a police officer concludes that the amount of marijuana found on your person exceeds the amount generally used for personal purposes, he may determine that you intended to sell or distribute the drug. The penalties for this crime are significantly higher, and they rise exponentially along with the amount of marijuana discovered. Only 16 ounces of marijuana need be sold for you to earn the steepest marijuana sale-related punishment. In fact, according to New York State Law, money changing hands isn’t even technically required for you to be found guilty. Giving away marijuana or using it to barter for goods or services is equally prohibited.
Contacting a NYC Marijuana Possession Attorney
Despite marijuana’s status as an ever-increasingly legal drug, New York’s laws remain firm. We urge you to not treat a marijuana arrest lightly. Not only can multiple offenses add up and lead to real jail time, single offenses can stick on your permanent record forever, making it difficult to get a job or apply for loans. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we are compassionate to your plight. Our skilled team of attorneys will analyze your case and figure how to best represent you in court. Why face a judge alone when you can have an experienced New York marijuana possession lawyer in your corner? Contact us today for a free consultation.
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]