Stephen Bilkis
Fighting For Your Freedom! 800.696.9529 Request A Free Consultation

New York Penal Code § 220.21: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree

Under New York law, the more drugs you are found in possession of the more serious the crime and the harsher the sentence. This is because if you have a large amount of drugs it is less likely that they are for your personal use and more likely that you plan to sell them. Under New York Penal Code § 220.21, you have committed a Class A-1 felony if you possess 8 ounces or more of a narcotic drug or 5,760 milligrams of methadone.

Examples

The police receive a tip about the make and model of a car that alleged contained cocaine. A police officer spotted the car on the New York State Thruway. While following the vehicle, the officer observed it change lanes without signaling. After calling for backup the police officer pulled the car over. Upon conducting a pat-down search of the driver of the car, the police discovered a rectangular-shaped package of cocaine taped to the man's leg. The man could be prosecuted for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree as long as the amount of cocaine found on his person was enough to meet the requirements of the statute.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 220.43
  2. Operating as a major trafficker: New York Penal Law § 220.77
Defenses

If you are arrested for first degree criminal possession of a controlled substance you may be able to challenge the charge based on the amount of drugs found in the incident. If the drug is a narcotic and the amount is less than 8 ounces or if the drug is methadone and the amount is less than 5,760 milligrams, then a change of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree would not be valid.

Another defense would attack the method the police used to find the drugs. In order to conduct a search the police must have probable cause. If the search was unlawful, anything which the search produced including drugs would be inadmissible in court and your case would likely be dismissed.

Sentence

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is one of the most serious crimes in the New York Penal Codes. Along with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree and operating as a majority trafficker, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is a Class A-1 felony. This means that if you are convicted you could receive a sentence of life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

New York Penal Code § 220.21: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree

A person is guilty of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses:

  1. one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of eight ounces or more; or

  2. methadone and said methadone weighs five thousand seven hundred sixty milligrams or more.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree, there is a lot at stake. If you are convicted you could be sent to prison for decades. 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 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.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
My wife and I met under some unconventional circumstances. After I had some legal problems, Mr Bilkis and his firm continually got me out of trouble. I then had his firm represented my wife and he got her out of trouble! We are still married and got our ways straightened away. We both can't thank him enough for saving our lives and our families! J.P.
★★★★★
I contacted Stephen Bilkis' office for an issue regarding a family member and I could not be happier with the results. I have recommended the firm to friends and family, all of whom were also ecstatic with Mr. Bilkis and all members of his staff. P.R.
★★★★★
I was in need of legal assistance for a very sensitive matter for a family member. I contacted the law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC and was met with staff whose demeanor was supportive, compassionate and professional. The lawyer handling our case had many years of experience and treated us as if we were his own family. Our experience was so good, and we became so close to all of the staff and all of the attorneys who assisted us, that we consider them our extended family and continue to send them our home baked gifts for the holidays. P.A.K.
★★★★★
I hired Stephen Bilkis and Associates to represent me on a legal matter a few months ago and am grateful for their swift action and resolution on my behalf. I was impressed with their professionalism and would recommend them to friends and family in a heartbeat. M.B.
CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
800.696.9529
captcha