New York Penal Code § 220.09: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree

You will have committed the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree under New York Penal Code § 220.09 if you knowingly and unlawfully possess narcotics, methamphetamine, a stimulant, lysergic acid diethylamide, a hallucinogen, a hallucinogenic, methadone, ketamine, phencyclidine, or gamma hydroxybutyric acid. The statute requires that you possess a specified amount of the drug in order to face prosecution under the criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree statute. If you possess less than the required amounts, you could still be prosecuted under criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth or seventh degree.

Example

The police notice a car that is painted bright red, has expensive rims and unusual detailing. The driver is not speeding, driving recklessly or breaking any other traffic law. However, the car looks suspicious to the police officer. The officer pulls it over and searches the car. He finds several vials of cocaine in a bag under the car's seat. The man who was driving the car is arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. In this case there is a good chance that the charges against the man will be dismissed. Even though he had enough cocaine to face a criminal possession charge, the search of his car may be found to be unlawful as the police officer may not have had probable cause to stop the vehicle and search it.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 220.34
  2. Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument: New York Penal Code § 220.45
  3. Criminal Injection of a Narcotic Drug: New York Penal Law § 220.48
Defenses

If you are arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree you could challenge the method the police used to find the drugs. New York law requires that police must have probable cause before they can conduct a search. This means that they must have reason to suspect that you have committed a crime or they must have a search warrant. If the search was unlawful anything which the search produced including drugs would be inadmissible in court and your case would likely be dismissed.

Sentence

Because criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree is a class C felony, if you are convicted your possible sentence will be up to 15 years in prison. The minimum sentence that the judge will give you is either 3 1/2 or 7 years depending on whether or not you have a prior felony conviction. You will also have to pay a fine of up to $15,000.

New York Penal Code § 220.09: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree

A person is guilty of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses:

  1. one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more; or

  2. one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing methamphetamine, its salts, isomers or salts of isomers and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of one-half ounce or more; or

  3. one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic preparation and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of two ounces or more; or

  4. a stimulant and said stimulant weighs one gram or more; or

  5. lysergic acid diethylamide and said lysergic acid diethylamide weighs one milligram or more; or

  6. a hallucinogen and said hallucinogen weighs twenty-five milligrams or more; or

  7. a hallucinogenic substance and said hallucinogenic substance weighs one gram or more; or

  8. a dangerous depressant and such dangerous depressant weighs ten ounces or more; or

  9. a depressant and such depressant weighs two pounds or more; or

  10. one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing concentrated cannabis as defined in paragraph (a) of subdivision four of section thirty-three hundred two of the public health law and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of one ounce or more; or

  11. phencyclidine and said phencyclidine weighs two hundred fifty milligrams or more; or

  12. methadone and said methadone weighs three hundred sixty milligrams or more; or

  13. phencyclidine and said phencyclidine weighs fifty milligrams or more with intent to sell it and has previously been convicted of an offense defined in this article or the attempt or conspiracy to commit any such offense; or

  14. ketamine and said ketamine weighs four thousand milligrams or more; or

  15. one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing gamma hydroxybutyric acid, as defined in paragraph four of subdivision (e) of schedule I of section thirty-three hundred six of the public health law, and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of two hundred grams or more.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Drug cases can involve several complicated issues that could factor into the charge you face, whether or not you are prosecuted, whether or not you are convicted and if convicted, the sentence you face. If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime in New York or if you face imminent arrest, immediately contact an experienced attorney. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients who have been accused of drug possession, crack possession, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, drug selling, and other drug crimes. 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.

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)