New York Methamphetamine

Methamphetamine, commonly known as meth, speed, uppers, crystal meth, and ice, is a synthetic, dangerous stimulant. Under New York law methamphetamine is a Schedule II(d) controlled substance. It is taken orally, intravenously, or by inhaling. It speeds up the brain, allowing users to stay up for extended periods of time. Regular use can lead to brain damage. Taking too much at one time can cause convulsions, dizziness, high body temperature and death. It is a drug that is popular among teens and young adults. However, it is highly addictive. Some become addicted after using it just one time. According to a 2008 report, in the United States over 13 million have tried meth and over 500,000 are regular users. In addition to being a dangerous drug when used, methamphetamine is also a dangerous drug to make as potentially explosive chemicals are used. New York Penal Law includes 7 offenses specifically prohibiting manufacturing meth. In addition, the possession and sale of meth is prohibited under New York's controlled substances laws. If you have been charged with a methamphetamine drug crime, you can count on the prosecutor to seek to vigorously prosecute you. Thus, do not delay in contacting an experienced New York methamphetamine lawyer who will explain to you your legal options and defend you from the time of your arrest until your case is resolved. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with drug crimes and other serious crimes such as domestic violence and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

Types of drug crimes

There are 4 main category of offenses related to methamphetamine: possession of a controlled substance, sale of a controlled substance, having drug paraphernalia, and manufacturing methamphetamine.

Possession of Methamphetamine

Possession of methamphetamine crimes fall under possession of a controlled substance crimes. To be charged with a possession of methamphetamine, you must have knowingly and unlawfully possess methamphetamine. The different levels of severity of meth possession charges are based on the amount of the drug you have.

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. Seventh degree possession is the minimum possession charge that you will face. For example if you have less than .5 of an ounce for personal use, this is the charge you will face. It is a class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted of this crime, you could be sentenced to up to one year in jail. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.03
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree . Possessing larger amounts of methamphetamine will raise the level of the offense from a misdemeanor to a felony. If you have at least .5 ounce of methamphetamine you will face this charge. It is a class C felony. If convicted of this crime, you could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.09
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree . You will have committed this crime if you possess at least 2 ounces of methamphetamine. It is a class A-II felony, meaning that a conviction comes with possible sentence of life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.18
Sale of methamphetamine

If you sell or distribute methamphetamine you could be arrested for and charged with felony criminal sale of a controlled substance. There are several degrees of the felony sale charge based on the amount of methamphetamine.

  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. This is the minimum methamphetamine distribution charge. It is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.31. If you are convicted, the maximum penalty is up to 4 years in prison.
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. If you sell methamphetamine in the vicinity of a school, school bus, day care, or educational facility you will face this charge. It is a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.34. If you are convicted, the maximum penalty is up to 15 years in prison.
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. If you sell at least 1/8 ounce of methamphetamine, you could face a charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. It is a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.39. If you are convicted, the maximum penalty is up to 25 years in prison.
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree. If you sell at least .5 ounce of methamphetamine, you could face a charge of sale of a controlled substance in the second degree. It is a class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.41. If you are convicted, the maximum penalty is life in prison.
  • Operating as a major trafficker. If you are a director of an organization that sells of $75,000 worth of methamphetamine or any other controlled substance in a 12-month period or less, you will face this charge. It is the most serious drug distribution charge. It is a class A-1 felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.77 . If you are convicted, you could end up in prison for life.
Methamphetamine drug paraphernalia offenses

If you are found to be involved in selling methamphetamine, there is a good chance that you will also face charges related to possessing drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia offenses relate to not the possession of the drug itself, but to the materials and equipment that is typically used to make, store and package methamphetamine or other controlled substances in order to distribute it.

  • Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. You will face this charge if you have items used to make, store or package methamphetamine in order to sell it such as glassine envelopes, vials, or scales and balances. It is a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.50
  • Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree. This offense is the same as criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. You will face the more serious first degree charge if you commit the second degree offense after having a prior conviction for that offense. It is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.55
Manufacturing methamphetamine offenses

Manufacturing methamphetamine offenses make it illegal to have a meth lab or the substances, materials and equipment for a meth lab. There are several components that are required for making meth. Manufacturing meth offenses increase in seriousness based on which meth manufacturing components you have.

  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree. If you have a precursor, chemical reagent or solvent with the intent to use it to make methamphetamine, you will face this charge. It is a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.70
  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree. If you have been convicted of criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree in the prior 5 years and commit the offense again, you will face this charge. It is a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.71
  • Criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine. If you have precursors of methamphetamine and also have a solvent or chemical reagent with the intent to use them to make methamphetamine, you will face this charge. It is a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.72
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree . If you have at least two pieces of lab equipment and at least 2 precursors, chemical reagents or solvents; or 1 precursor and at least 3 precursors, chemical reagents or solvents; or a precursor mixed with a chemical reagent or solvent; or a precursor and at least 2 chemical reagents and/or solvents mixed together, you will face this charge. It is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.73
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree. If you commit unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree in the presence of a child who is under the age of 16 and you are at least 5 years older than the child, you will face this charge. You will also face this charge if you commit unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree within 5 years you have been convicted of certain specified crimes related to the possession or manufacturing of methamphetamine. It is a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.74
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree. You will face this charge if you commit unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree after having been convicted of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree, unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree, or unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree within the prior 5 years. It is a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.75
  • Unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material. If you dispose of methamphetamine laboratory material in a way that creates a health risk or in furtherance of a methamphetamine operation, you will face this charge. It is a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.76
Sentencing

The sentence for a drug crime conviction involving methamphetamine ranges from up to a year in jail for a class A misdemeanor charge to life in prison for a class A-I felony or a class A-II felony conviction. The penalties for drug convictions include:

  • Class A misdemeanor. The maximum possible sentence is 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The following methamphetamine offenses are class A misdemeanors: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, and criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree.
  • Class E felony. The maximum possible sentence is 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The following methamphetamine offenses are class E felonies: criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree, criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine, and unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material.
  • Class D felony. The maximum possible sentence is 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The following methamphetamine offenses are class D felonies: criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree, criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree, and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree.
  • Class C felony . The maximum possible sentence is 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. The following methamphetamine offenses are class C felonies: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree.
  • Class B felony. The maximum possible sentence is 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. The following methamphetamine offenses are class B felonies: criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds, and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree.
  • Class A-II felony. The maximum possible sentence is life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. The following methamphetamine offenses are class A-II felonies: criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree and criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree.
  • Class A-I felony. The maximum possible sentence is life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Operating as a major trafficker is a class A-I felony.

In addition, if you are addicted to methamphetamines or to any other drug or to alcohol and commit a B, C, D, or E drug felony and agree to plead guilty, the court may offer you the option of an alternative sentencing program call Drug Treatment Court. You will receive treatment for your addiction problem and upon successful completion of the program the judge will resolve the criminal charges against you in a manner more favorable then if you did not go through the program.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Penalties for methamphetamine offenses are some of the most severe in New York's Penal Law. In addition to being sentenced to up to life in prison, you may also face stiff fines. Because of these potential consequences, if you have been charged with a methamphetamine offense, you should immediately contact an attorney who has experience defending those accused of methamphetamine offenses. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of methamphetamine possession, methamphetamine distribution and methamphetamine manufacturing offenses. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of drug crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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