Drug Possession


Aggressive Defense Against Drug Possession Charges in Manhattan, Nassau County & Suffolk County

Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP provides uncompromising, highly experienced criminal defense representation for individuals accused of drug possession in Nassau County, Suffolk County, and throughout the tri-state area, as well as in all state and federal charges involving controlled substances. Our New York drug possession lawyer comprises renowned leaders in their respective fields, with diverse backgrounds and experience that enable us to provide effective legal counsel and defense.

Remember, if you are arrested for drug possession, you have the right to an attorney, no matter the circumstances surrounding your charges—demand to exercise this right. Remain silent, as even attempting to show your cooperation could backfire and result in self-incriminating statements or actions that harm your case later. Instead, contact our firm's New York drug possession attorney and ensure your rights are protected.

Are you facing drug possession charges in New York? Call Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, LLP today at (888) 779-0267 or contact us online to schedule a meeting with one of our drug possession attorneys in New York!

New York Drug Possession Laws

For the State of New York to convict you of “actual” possession, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The substance was either within your physical possession (on your person);
  • It was a controlled substance;
  • You were aware that you possessed it; and
  • The possession was unlawful.

The State of New York can also charge you with “constructive” possession, provided you had control over the individual who possessed the drugs or the place they were found. This can be proven even if the defendant was not physically present when the drugs were found.

What Is Drug Possession?

Drug possession is the act of carrying or having control over a controlled substance, such as illegal drugs like marijuana, cocaine, or heroin, without a valid prescription or legal authority. It can also include prescription drugs that are not being used for their intended purpose or are being used in a way that is not consistent with the prescription. Drug possession can also refer to constructive possession, which occurs when an individual does not physically possess a controlled substance but has control over it or the ability to access it. For example, if drugs are found in a shared living space or a vehicle that an individual has access to, they may be charged with constructive possession even if they did not physically possess the drugs at the time they were discovered.

Constructive possession can be more difficult to prove in court than actual possession, but it can still result in criminal charges and penalties. It is important to understand that both actual possession and constructive possession are considered drug possession under the law and can carry serious consequences. If you have been charged with drug possession, it is important to seek the help of an experienced drug possession lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options.

Drug Classification and Penalties in New York

Under New York state law, it is illegal to possess any controlled substance, including drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, without a valid prescription. Controlled substances are divided into five schedules, or classifications, based on their potential for abuse and their accepted medical use:

  • Schedule I drugs, such as heroin, are considered the most dangerous and have no accepted medical use.
  • Schedule II drugs, like cocaine and methamphetamine, have a high potential for abuse but may be used for medical purposes under certain circumstances.
  • Schedule III, IV, and V drugs have a lower potential for abuse and are more commonly used for medical purposes, including prescription medications like Xanax and Valium.

The punishment for possessing a controlled substance in New York will depend on the drug schedule and the case's specific circumstances. Our drug possession lawyers can help you navigate the legal system and fight to protect your freedom and reputation.

What are the Penalties For Possession of A Controlled Substance in New York?

In New York, the penalties for possession of a controlled substance depend on the type and amount of the drug involved and the individual's criminal history. Some key points to consider include the following:

  • Possession of a controlled substance can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances.
  • Misdemeanor possession charges can carry a sentence of up to one year in jail.
  • Felony possession charges can result in imprisonment for up to 25 years.
  • In addition to imprisonment, individuals convicted of drug possession may be required to pay fines, complete community service, and undergo drug treatment programs.
  • The penalties for drug possession can be enhanced if the offense occurs in a school zone, near a park, or another public area.

For example, for possession of between two and eight ounces of marijuana, you could be charged with a misdemeanor offense and face up to one year in jail. If you are found in possession of 500 mg or more of cocaine, you may be charged with a felony offense and face up to 2.5 years in prison.

Alternative Sentencing for Drug Possession

New York has an alternative sentencing program to standard jail time. The Drug Treatment Court program may be made available for an individual with a problem with substance abuse and who has been arrested for drug possession under class B, C, D, or E. If an individual completes the program, the judge may reduce criminal charges or dismiss them.

Effective Defense Strategies for Drug Possession Charges

Despite the severe penalties for drug possession, several defenses can be used to challenge your charges:

  • The substance is not an illegal drug
  • Lawful possession
  • Insufficient quantity
  • You are a witness to or victim of an overdose
  • The drugs were located based on an unlawful search and seizure

Get Help from Our Experienced Drug Possession Defense Team

Our legal experience and training are significant and can significantly impact even the most “open-and-shut” drug possession case. Our New York drug possession attorneys have over 200 years of combined experience, the considerable knowledge it takes to identify relevant case law and legislation, and the resources to carefully investigate every aspect of a drug charge.

Schedule Your Free Consultation with Our NY Drug Possession Lawyers

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