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Dupee & Monroe

New York Marijuana Criminal Defense Attorney

An increasing number of states around the country are legalizing the medicinal and recreational use of marijuana.  While New York has legalized the medicinal use of marijuana, recreational use remains illegal.  Possession of small amounts has been “decriminalized,” meaning that it can be punished as a violation rather than as a criminal offense.  Possession of larger amounts, as well as distribution and other crimes, remain illegal and can be punished severely.  Marijuana remains a prohibited drug under federal law.

If you have been arrested for possession or distribution of any quantity of marijuana, reach out to the dedicated and passionate New York marijuana defense lawyers at Dupée & Monroe as soon as possible to start building your case.  With a strong legal defense, you can avoid the most serious consequences of a marijuana-related conviction.  Our Goshen criminal defense team is ready to fight for your rights and freedom.

Minor Marijuana Possession is a Violation Under New York Law

New York has decriminalized marijuana possession in the last few years, reducing the penalties for minor possession.  Under New York State Penal Code § 221.05, minor possession charges are only violations rather than criminal charges.  That means that a conviction for possession of fewer than two ounces will not show up on your criminal record, lead to jail time, or carry the other consequences of a criminal conviction.

Possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana was already a violation, punishable by up to $50 for a first offense.  Repeat-offenders may face up to 15 days in jail.  As of July 2019, possession of one to two ounces is also a violation rather than a misdemeanor.

Possession and Distribution of Larger Amounts is Still a Crime

Possession of marijuana in larger quantities is still criminalized under New York law.  The severity of the crime and the punishment depend on the amount of marijuana charged.  As we detail below, the penalties for possession of more significant amounts can be extremely severe.  Part of an effective defense in a possession case is reducing the volume of drugs charged.

The crimes and punishments for possession are as follows:

  • Possession of one to two ounces: Civil violation.  Fine of up to $200.
  • Possession of two to eight ounces:   Up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Possession of eight to 16 ounces:   Up to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.  Prison mandatory for second offenses.
  • Possession of 16 ounces to ten lbs:   Up to seven years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.  Prison mandatory for second offenses.
  • Possession of more than ten lbs:   Up to 15 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.  Prison mandatory for second offenses.

The penalties for distribution are more severe at smaller quantities:

  • Distribution of up to two grams without payment:   Up to three months in jail and a $500 fine.
  • Cultivating or selling up to 25 grams:   Up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Distribution of 25 grams to four ounces:   Up to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Distribution of four to 16 ounces:   Up to seven years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
  • Distribution of more than 16 ounces:   Up to 15 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.  Prison mandatory for second offenses.
  • Selling to a minor:   Up to seven years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

Call For Help With New York Marijuana Criminal Charges

If you have been arrested and/or charged with marijuana possession or other drug crimes under New York state law, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C., in Goshen. We represent clients accused of drug crimes and other serious offenses in Orange County and throughout the Hudson Valley.

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