If you are facing criminal charges of marijuana possession in New York, your situation may be more serious than you originally presumed. While this type of criminal offense may not seem very serious, it can actually result in penalties that can change the direction of your life. It is in your interests to take your case seriously and work diligently to fight these charges against you.
Marijuana possession comes with penalties that include everything from time behind bars to expensive fines. Thankfully, entering a guilty plea is not your only option, nor is a conviction. With the right help, you can successfully fight these charges and work diligently to protect your future interests.
Penalties and consequences
The legalization of medical marijuana and the changing cultural perspective on the recreational use of marijuana may cause some people to view possession charges as minor offenses. Regardless of how you view marijuana and whether you believe possession is a serious offense, the penalties that come with a conviction can be steep. Examples include:
- Possession of up to one ounce – This is possession of the second degree. Fines can be as much as $50, but you will not go to jail.
- Possession of one to two ounces – This is possession in the first degree, and the fine can be up to $200. This is a civil violation.
- Possession of two to eight ounces – This comes with a fine that is as much as $1,000 and the possibility of one year in jail.
- Possession of eight to 16 ounces – This comes with up to four years in prison and fines as much as $5,000. Prison time is mandatory for second-time offenders.
- Possession of 16 ounces to ten pounds – This comes with at least one and up to seven years in prison, as well as a fine up to $5,000. Second offenders face mandatory prison time.
- Possession of 10 pounds or more – Offenders face anywhere from one to 15 years in prison. Fines can be as much as $5,000. A prison sentence is mandatory for second offenders.
You can fight back against these charges by developing a strong and thoughtful defense strategy. What this looks like for you depends on the factors that are unique to your case, such as your criminal history. An assessment of your case with an experienced defense attorney can help you understand how to move forward with your defense.