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New York Heroin Possession Frequently Asked Questions

If I Am Found With Heroin, What Are the Possible Charges I Will Face?

Heroin, commonly referred to as smack or tar, is a schedule I controlled substance. This means that it is a crime under the New York penal law section 220 to knowingly and unlawfully possess heroin. Being convicted of having even a small amount of heroin carries penalties that will impact your future. While there are sentencing guidelines related to drug possession convictions, there are a variety of different ways that a possession of heroin case can be resolved. If you are accused of possessing heroin, it is important that you are represented by an experienced New York heroin possession lawyer who will vigorously defend you in order to minimize the long-term impact on your life.

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Is Heroin Possession a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

The possession of a controlled substance crimes that are related to heroin are all felonies. They include criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth, third, second and first degree. The penalties are serious, involving the possibility of spending decades in prison. The specific charge that you face and the amount of time you will have to spend in prison if convicted is related to the amount of heroin found on you. An experienced New York heroin possession lawyer understands this and may be able to challenge the charge in a number of different ways, including the amount of the heroin actually found.

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What Is Criminal Possession in the Fourth Degree?

If you have 1/8 of an ounce of heroin, you will face the charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. It is a class C felony, and carries a maximum penalty of up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.09

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What Is Criminal Possession in the Third Degree?

The possession charge will be bumped up to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree if you have at least 1/2 ounce of heroin. Under section 220.16 of the New York Penal Law, third degree criminal possession of a controlled substance is a class B felony. If you are convicted you could send up in prison for up to 25 years in prison.

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What Is Criminal Possession in the Second Degree?

If you are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, because it is a class B drug felony, you face up to life in prison. The prosecutor will charge you with second degree possession if you have 4 ounces of heroin.

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What Is Criminal Possession in the First Degree?

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is the most serious possession charge. It is a class A-1 felony that carries a prison sentence of up to life in prison. This crime involves having 8 ounces of heroin.

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Will I Be Eligible for Alternative Sentencing if I Am Convicted of a Heroin Possession?

As a heroin possession attorney in New York will explain, if you are convicted of heroin possession, your sentence may include prison, probation, and fines. As an alternative to traditional sentencing, you may also be ordered to go to drug treatment in lieu of prison. Your sentence will be based on the specific charge, as well as other factors such as your criminal history. However, alternative sentencing is reserved for low-level drug offenses.

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Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Heroin possession 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 heroin possession charges, it is critical that you have experienced representation. The heroin possession attorneys in New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have 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 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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