Suffolk County Marijuana Possession Defense
In the past 17 years, 29 states across the country legalized marijuana. In some states marijuana is only approved for medical reasons while other states have legalized the recreational use of the drug. The stigma associated with general marijuana use has decreased significantly in recent years but selling, possessing or using of marijuana is still prohibited throughout Suffolk County and the rest of New York.
Furthermore, being arrested and convicted for any of these crimes could lead to fines, jail time, probation, suspension of your driver's license, mandated programs and criminal record that could follow you for years.
More than half of Americans surveyed by the Pew Research Center in March of 2015 said the laws in New York lag far behind the country's shifting feelings about the most popularly used illicit drug. If you are arrested on marijuana-related charges in Suffolk County, consult with a dedicated Suffolk County marijuana possession attorney who can advise you about your rights.Defining Possession of Marijuana
Police only need to find you with marijuana on your person to charge you with possession. But if you are in a vehicle where marijuana is found, you can also be charged with possession, even if the marijuana is not yours and the drug was not near you. The same is true if you are living in a house where marijuana is found.
The penalties are determined by how much of the drug is in your possession. Small amounts result in a fine. If you are caught with 25 grams or less, you will face a fine as long as it is your first or second offense. Possession of any amount between two and eight ounces is a misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine and up to three months in jail if you are convicted.
Any amount above eight ounces is a felony with the stiffest possible penalty a 15-year-jail sentence and a $15,000 fine if you have 10 or more pounds. Prosecutors can add another 90 days and $250 fine if the marijuana was in public view. Consulting a knowledgeable marijuana possession attorney in Suffolk County can help you figure out your next steps.Selling Marijuana Charges
People can be charged with marijuana sale for sharing marijuana because the simple act of giving the drug to someone else constitutes a marijuana sale. Selling a marijuana cigarette or as much as 25gms of marijuana is a misdemeanor charge in New York with up to a year in jail and up to a $1000 in fines on the line.
Selling with the assistance of a child, selling larger amounts of the drug or selling to a minor are felony charges in Suffolk County that could lead to $15000 in fines and up to 15 years in prison. Understanding which of the charges has been alleged against you is important and is a conversation that you should have with a marijuana possession lawyer in Suffolk County.Associated Marijuana Charges
Beyond marijuana possession or sale, there are several other different charges that you may face depending on your arrest circumstances. These include:
- Marijuana trafficking
- Marijuana cultivation
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
Marijuana trafficking is a felony with up to a $100,000 in fines and up to 15 years in prison for somebody convicted. You could even be classified as a marijuana trafficker if you lead an organization that sells more than $75,000 worth of drugs every year. For marijuana cultivation, $1000 in fines and up to a year in prison could be assessed with your case. People who are often charged with marijuana possession are frequently facing cultivation charges as well.
Finally, possessing a balanced scale or other paraphernalia is a misdemeanor for a first offender but could lead to felony charges for subsequent offences. Up to a year in prison can be ordered for a first offender and up to 7 years in prison can face repeat offenders in addition to $5000 in fines. The consequences for any drug charge in Suffolk County are serious and this is why you should consult with a knowledgeable Suffolk County marijuana possession lawyer right away after being arrested is one of the best things you can do for your future.