New York Cocaine Possession

Cocaine is one of the most dangerous drugs out there. It comes in 2 popular forms: powder and crack. It is regularly featured in media reports concerning drug overdose deaths, as well as stories related to drug trafficking. Cocaine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance because it has a high potential for abuse and its use can lead to severe psychological and physical dependence. New York law further classifies cocaine as a narcotic. It has been a problem for decades as it is popular as street drug and "club drug." It is also regularly used in celebrity circles. Each year law enforcement pours millions of dollars into apprehending and prosecuting those involved in cocaine, including those who possess it. Oftentimes those arrested for cocaine possession have it for their own person use. As a result, cocaine possession is sometimes not considered to be a very serious crime. However, under the New York Penal Code cocaine possession can have very serious penalties. In fact, if you are convicted of possessing a large amount of cocaine you could end up in prison for 2 decades. In addition to facing cocaine possession charges under the New York Penal Code you could face a federal cocaine possession charge. If you have been charged with cocaine possession either under New York law or under federal law, it is important to have representation who has experience defending those charged with cocaine possession. Contact an experienced New York cocaine possession Lawyer who understands the laws related to drug crimes and who will aggressively defend you against these charges. 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 assault, domestic violence and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us at to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

New York cocaine possession crimes

Under the New York Penal Code cocaine possession falls under offenses related to criminal possession of a controlled substance. There are 6 such offenses ranging from a class A misdemeanor to a class A-I felony. The more cocaine that you have the more serious the offense with which you will be charged.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. If you have less than 500 milligrams of cocaine you will face this charge. It is a class A misdemeanor which carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.03. It is the least serious cocaine possession charge. If you are a first time offender, you may not be sentenced to jail, but to probation.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. If you have at least 500 milligrams of cocaine you will face this charge. It is a class D felony which carries a penalty of up to 7 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.06

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. If you have at least 1/8 of an ounce of cocaine or a cocaine mixture you will face this charge. It is a class C felony that carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.09

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. If you have at least 1/2 of an ounce of cocaine or a cocaine mixture you will face this charge. It is a class B felony that carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree. If you have at least 4 ounces of cocaine or a cocaine mixture you will face this charge. It is a class A-II felony that carries a penalty of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.18

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree. If you have at least 8 ounces of cocaine or a cocaine mixture you will face this charge. It is a class A-I felony that carries a penalty of up to life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.21

Federal cocaine possession crimes

Under federal law if you have cocaine in your possession, you could face a "simple possession" charge. 21 U.S.C. § 844. For a first conviction, you could face up to 1 year in jail, as well as a minimum fine of $1,000. For a second conviction you could face 15 days to 2 years in prison, as well as a minimum fine of $2,500. For a third conviction you could face 90 days to 3 years in prison, as well as a minimum fine of $5,000.

Arrest, arraignment and sentencing

If you are arrested for cocaine possession, you will be taken to the local police precinct for initial processing. After that, you will be transferred to Central Booking to await your arraignment hearing. At the arraignment hearing you will learn all of the charges against you. You may be charged with a single count of a cocaine possession charge. Or, the prosecutor may decide to add additional charges such as charges related to selling drugs, possessing drug paraphernalia, or manufacturing drugs. Furthermore, depending on the evidence and facts of your case, the prosecutor may charge you with other types of crimes.

If you face a cocaine possession charge that is a class B, C, D or E felony, you may be eligible for an alternative sentencing arrangement called Drug Treatment Court. In order to be eligible you must have an alcohol or drug addiction. After your arraignment and prior to pleading guilty and prior to your trial, you can request an alcohol and substance abuse evaluation to determine if you would benefit from Drug Treatment Court. You may request a hearing where the judge will consider several factors and make a decision as to whether you should be offered the option of Drug Court Treatment. If you are offered the option and agree to it, you will be required to plead guilty to the criminal charges and then go through the Drug Treatment Court program. If you successfully complete the program, the court may reduce the original criminal charges, give you a reduced sentence, or dismiss the charges altogether.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

While cocaine possession may seem like a minor offense the possible penalties are stiff. However, an experienced attorney will understand defenses available as well as alternative sentencing options. The staff at Stephen Bilkis and Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients who have been accused of cocaine possession, crack possession, marijuana possession, drug possession, 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.

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