In New York, you always face the possibility of serving jail time for a drug violation, whether a misdemeanor or felony. The state views drug possession as a threat to the community and will treat it as such. Should you get arrested and charged with a drug-related violation, you must take the matter seriously.
An overview of NYS drug possession crimes
There are six violations surrounding substance possession, and only one is a misdemeanor: criminal possession of controlled substances in the seventh degree. That charge is a Class A violation and may be applied to any controlled substance charge, regardless of the amount.
The drug involved affects the charge, as does the amount of the substance. Some violations, like illegal anabolic steroid possession, usually result in a misdemeanor charge.
What happens if you get arrested for possessing controlled substances?
These factors impact drug violations:
- Weight of the substance
- Amount of drugs possessed or sold
- Number of sales or times the violator has been charged in the past
If the state finds a large enterprise involving controlled substances, it can become a federal conspiracy case. Charges for this crime can include the confiscation of not only drugs but money, vehicles, properties, assets, etc.
Once under arrest, the first part of the process is an arraignment. You may go home (ROR), be held on bail, or find yourself behind bars.
With a felony on the table, your case goes before a grand jury. If the prosecutor convinces the grand jury a felony charge is the best option, the court issues an indictment.
The arrest and arraignment are only the beginning of the legal quagmire. In the end, there’s either a jury trial or an agreement where you plead guilty.
Depending on a number of factors, a felony violation of a controlled substance can lead to any amount of prison time. You will also end up with a criminal record.
What law enforcement believes
The criminal justice system sees the production, harvesting, and sale of controlled substances as a foundation for all sorts of crime. The law strives to stop drugs before they get to the end user, in essence limiting supply and demand, as the most effective way to control the drug trade.