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New York Drug Possession Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Crime of Drug Possession in New York?

Under the New York penal code you could face a drug possession charge if you are found in possession of any of number of different controlled substances. Some of the more common controlled substances are cocaine, heroin, and OxyContin, but as a New York drug possession lawyer can explain in detail, there are many other drugs that are also considered illegal controlled substances. There are 7 different possession of a controlled substance offenses in New York. They are each based on the amount of the drug you have.

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Is Drug Possession a Felony?

Drug possession is considered to be a serious crime with stiff penalties. Because of this, of the 6 drug possession crimes in the New York penal code, all but one is a felony. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree is a class A misdemeanor.

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What Should I Do if I Am Arrested for Drug Possession?

If you are detained or arrested on suspicion of drug possession, the police will ask you several questions and attempt to get you to confess or make a damaging statement. The better course of action is to invoke your right to remain silent and to ask for your experienced New York drug possession lawyer. Keep in mind that anything you say could be used against you as your case proceeds through the criminal process.

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What Happens After a Drug Possession Arrest?

An arrest for drug possession is the first step in what is often a long and complicated criminal process. After your arrest you will be arraigned in criminal court. If you are charged with a felony, your case will go before a grand jury. If the grand jury decides that a felony drug possession charge is warranted based on the evidence presented by the prosecutor, you will be indicted. After indictment your case will ultimately end with a jury trial and verdict, or it will end with an agreement that will require you to plead guilty to a lesser charge.

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If I Am Convicted of Drug Possession Will I Go to Prison?

If you are convicted of felony criminal possession of a controlled substance, you may go to prison. Depending on the charge you face and factors such as your criminal history, your sentence could range from no prison to life in prison.

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What Is Alternative Sentencing for Drug Crimes?

New York offers alternatives to prison if you are convicted of a low-level drug crime. For example, if you are convicted of a low-level drug possession offense and have a substance abuse problem, your sentence may include a drug treatment program. Understanding the availability of alternative sentencing options such as diversion programs is an important part of a defending a drug possession charge. Thus, it is vital that your drug possession attorney has experience representing clients before New York criminal courts.

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Can I Get My Drug Possession Conviction Sealed?

Under the new sealing law certain nonviolent crimes are eligible for sealing 10 years after sentencing, not including the time you spend in prison. In addition to the 10-year requirement, you must also have avoided being arrested, charged or convicted in that time period, and you must be able to show that you have taken steps to rehabilitate your life and contribute to the community by going to school, holding on to a job, completing a drug treatment program, or doing volunteer work. The judge will review your application which must include a statement from you, and will take into consideration the prosecutor’s response to your application for sealing. The judge will then make a decision as to whether your drug possession conviction will be sealed.

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Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Drug charges are very serious. If you are convicted not only are you likely to end up in prison, you will have a criminal record which will make it difficult for you to find a job or housing. If you are facing criminal drug possession charges, or any other type of drug charge, it is critical that you have experienced representation. The drug possession attorneys in New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with drug crimes. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of grand larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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