New York Penal Code § 221.25: Criminal possession of marihuana in the second degree

New York Penal law includes a total of 6 possession of marihuana charges. One is a violation, 2 are misdemeanors, and 3 are felonies. Under New York Penal Code § 221.25, criminal possession of marihuana in the second degree is a felony and the second most serious marihuana possession crime. In order to convict you of this crime the prosecutor most show the following:

  1. that you possessed one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing marihuana,
  2. that you did so knowingly and unlawfully, and
  3. that the substance weighed more than 16 ounces.
Example

A police officer stopped a vehicle because of its excessively tinted windows. Upon approaching the vehicle the officer smelled marihuana. The officer searched the vehicle and found a bag full of marihuana in the trunk of the car. The man was arrested for several offenses, including a charge of criminal possession of marihuana. If the police determine that the weight of the marihuana was between 1 and 10 pounds, then the man will be charged with criminal possession of marihuana in the second degree.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal sale of marihuana in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 221.50
  2. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 220.18
  3. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 220.41
Defenses

If you are charged with criminal possession of marihuana in the second degree you may be able to challenge the charge based on the actual weight of the marihuana. If the weight was 16 ounces or less then the prosecutor could not sustain a charge of criminal sale of marihuana in the second degree.

Another way to respond to a criminal possession of marihuana charge is to argue that the search that uncovered the marihuana was unlawful. There are rules that the police must follow in order to search someone's person, home, car, office, or any other location. If the police do not follow such rules a court may find that the search was unlawful. If that happens the prosecutor may have no choice but to dismiss the case against you.

Sentence

Because criminal possession of marihuana in the second degree is a class D felony if you are convicted your possible sentence will be up to 7 years in prison. Your actual sentence will depend on a number of factors including your prior criminal history. If you have been previously convicted of a felony your sentence will be longer than if this is your first offense.

In addition there may be financial consequences to a criminal sale of marihuana in the second degree conviction including a fine of up to $5,000 and mandatory fees.

New York Penal Code § 221.25: Criminal possession of marihuana in the second degree

A person is guilty of criminal possession of marihuana in the second degree when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing marihuana and the preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of more than sixteen ounces.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

While possession of marihuana is not as serious a crime as possession of other drugs such as heroin or cocaine, if you are charged with possessing 16 ounces or more you could end up in prison for up to 7 years. Because of these potential consequences, you should immediately contact an attorney who has experience defending those accused of marihuana related crimes such as possession. 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 marijuana possession, marijuana distribution, as well as 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.

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