New York Crack Possession
Crack is a form of the narcotic cocaine. Cocaine is traditionally available in a powder form. When powdered cocaine is cooked with baking soda it is transformed to a form that is called crack. While powder cocaine is inhaled or snorted, crack is smoked with a pipe. Crack is less expensive to make and buy than powder cocaine. The effects of crack occur a lot quicker compared to powdered cocaine. Both forms of cocaine are highly addictive. Because it is so often abused and because it is highly addictive cocaine is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance. While cocaine has been a problem for many, many decades, crack started to proliferate society in the 1980s, and has been a serious problem ever since. If you are convicted of crack possession you may face a sentence that could put you behind bars for many years. In addition, crack possession is also a federal crime, meaning that you could face a federal charge which may carry a stiffer sentence. If you are in need of a criminal lawyer because have been charged with crack possession or cocaine possession either under New York law or under federal law, it is important to have representation that is experienced in representing those charged with drug possession. Contact an experienced New York drug crimes lawyer who understands both New York and federal the laws related to crimes concerning crack and cocaine 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 crack possession crimes
Under the New York Penal Code crack possession falls under offenses related to criminal possession of a controlled substance. Specifically, crack possession falls under portions of the statute related to cocaine possession and narcotic possession. Crack possession charges range from a misdemeanor to a class A-I felony. The more crack you have in your possession, the more serious the charge you will face. Violation of the most serious crack possession law could land you in prison for the rest of your life.
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. This is the minimum charge you will face under New York law for crack possession. If you have a small amount of crack, less than 500 milligrams, you will face this charge. It is a class A misdemeanor. The penalty is up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.03.
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. If you have at least 500 milligrams of crack you will face this charge. It is a class D felony. The penalty is up to 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. 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 crack you will face this charge. It is a class C felony. The penalty is up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000. 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 ounceof crack you will face this charge. It is a class B felony. The penalty is up to 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16
Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree. If you have at least 4 ounces of crack you will face this charge. It is a class A-II felony. The penalty is 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 crack you will face this charge. It is a class A-I felony. The penalty is up to life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.21Federal crack possession crimes
Under federal law, the charge for crack possession is called simple possession. 21 U.S.C. § 844. Unlike the New York crack possession charges, under federal law there are not different degrees to the simple possession charge based on the amount of crack you are accused of possessing. Instead, the sentence you will face is based on your criminal history. For a first simple possession conviction, you could face up to 1 year in jail and a fine of at least $1,000. For a second conviction you could face 15 days to 2 years in prison and a fine of at least $2,500. For a third conviction you could face 90 days to 3 years in prison and a fine of at least $5,000.Alternative sentencing
If you are arrested for crack possession and you have a substance abuse problem, you may be eligible for an alternative sentencing option called Drug Treatment Court. However, you must first go through the arraignment process. After you are arrested you must be arraigned. At the arraignment hearing the prosecutor will inform you and the court of all of the charges against you. You may face several drug crimes, not just a crack possession charge. For example, you may also face a distribution or manufacturing charge. If you are charged with a class B, C, D or E felony, you may be offered the option of going to Drug Treatment Court. Under this program, you will be required to plead guilty to the criminal charges, and then go through a drug treatment program. In addition to receiving needed treatment, the advantage of opting for Drug Treatment Court is that upon successful completion the criminal charges may be reduced, you may receive a reduced sentence, or the criminal charges may be dismissed.
In order to go to Drug Treatment Court, you have to meet the eligibility criteria and you have to agree to it. You cannot be forced to go Drug Treatment Court. If you are not offered this option, or if you decline the option, then your case will proceed through the normal criminal process. This means that after the arraignment, unless you decide to plead guilty or you reach a plea agreement with the prosecutor, your case will eventually go to trial.The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help
If you are charged with crack possession, even if the charge is just a misdemeanor it is wise to be represented by an attorney with experience who understands defenses to possession charges that may be used to get the charge reduced or even dismissed. 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.