Marijuana Possession in New York

In New York State, drug laws can seem intentionally complicated. By locking up hundreds of individuals a year through drug crime arrests, the government can take in thousands of dollars through fines and penalties. Although, there have been modifications to the law to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana, damaging penalties still exist for other quantities.

What constitutes a marijuana possession crime in New York?

Any amount of marijuana that weights more than 25 grams will be considered a criminal violation of a drug law. To put that into perspective, 25 grams is weights about 5% of a pound, or as much as 10 pennies.

It is such an insignificant amount that many – if not most – people possessing any marijuana can be arrested for it. Additionally, if the police suspect you might be holding marijuana with the intent to sell or distribute it, any amount is illegal.

But just because possessing an amount less than 25 grams is not considered a criminal act, that doesn’t mean that it won’t lead to your punishment. New York State law can slap you with a high fine and cite it as a “civil violation” for any unwarranted, nonmedicinal possession of marijuana.

What punishments can I face if convicted?

Depending on the amount of marijuana in your possession at the time of your arrest, you could either be facing misdemeanor or felony charges. On the lower end of the penalty spectrum, you could be paying up to $1000 in fines and serving up to a year in jail. If your case is escalated, you can expect to be fined $5000 and you might be behind bars for up to 15 years.

Employers and educators do not look kindly on drug possession convictions, either. In certain circumstances, you could be fired or ejected from your educational establishment just for being arrested for marijuana possession.

If you are one of the hundreds of New Yorkers arrested every year for marijuana possession and you feel your punishments are excessive – or if you are falsely accused of the crimes altogether – contact a Queens criminal defense attorney from the Law Office of Kevin P. O’Donnell today.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


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Queens Criminal Defense Attorney

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