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Possession of Heroin

New York law states it is illegal to be in physical or constructive possession of any amount of heroin. Heroin is considered a Schedule I drug under New York and federal law. It is considered so because it is very addictive and has a high risk of abuse.

A person convicted of heroin possession may face heavy penalties. The penalties for a heroin possession charge ranges from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class A-I felony. A conviction can mean large fines, and even possible incarceration. If you or someone you love has been charged with possession of heroin, it is crucial that you equip yourself with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Attorney for Heroin Possession Charges in Nassau County, NY

Under the New York Penal Code, heroin possession falls under offenses related to criminal possession of a controlled substance. Being in possession of a controlled substance can lead to legal consequences. Heroin is no exception. Any person, who has been arrested or charged with possession of heroin, should seek legal representation.

Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Nassau and Suffolk County area. She is practiced in New York criminal law, with years of experience defending those accused of controlled substance crimes. Stephanie Selloni is knowledgeable of the complexities of New York's justice system. She will do whatever it takes to obtain the best possible results for your case. Ms. Selloni treats every client with utmost care, and aggressively defends them in the courtroom.

Do what is best for you future. Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents clients accused of drug crimes throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County including the towns, villages and cities of Glen Cove, Long Beach, Central Islip, and Riverhead.

Call Stephanie Selloni at 516-972-1212 regarding your case today.

Overview for Heroin Possession Charges in New York


Elements of Possession under New York Law

New York law defines possession of a controlled substance under certain elements. In order to obtain a conviction for possession of a controlled substance, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • The substance was a controlled substance;
  • The possession was unlawful;
  • The defendant possessed the substance; and
  • His or her possession was knowing.

Possession of an illegal drug in New York can be considered constructive or physical. Physical possession is when the alleged offender has control over the person or place where the drugs were found.

Constructive possession, on the other hand, is when a person exercises dominion or control over heroin that is not in his or her physical possession. An example of this can be if a locked box contains heroin, and the alleged offender has the key. This includes if the locked box is not in his or her physical possession.


Penalties for Possession of Heroin in Nassau County, NY

Heroin is considered a Schedule I drug in New York. This means that the penalties for heroin possession are heavy, and are often considered a felony. The penalties for heroin possession are dependent on the amount of the controlled substance in the alleged offender's physical or constructive possession.

  • Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree
    • A person is considered guilty of possessing a controlled substance if he or she unlawfully possesses a residual amount of a controlled substance, and that residual amount is in or on a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle.
      • Conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include possible court fines and an up to one year in jail.

  • Criminal possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fifth Degree
    • A person is considered guilty of possessing a controlled substance if he or she unlawfully possesses a controlled substance with intent to sell it, or one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing a narcotic preparation and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of one-half ounce or more.
      • Conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree is a Class D felony. The penalties for a Class D felony include possible court fines and an up to seven years in prison.

  • Criminal possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree
    • A person is considered guilty of possessing a controlled substance if he or she unlawfully possesses one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic dug and said preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances are more of an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more.
      • Conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree is a Class C felony. The penalties for a Class C felony include possible court fines and an up to fifteen years in prison.

  • Criminal possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree
    • A person is considered guilty of possessing a controlled substance if he or she unlawfully if he or she has intent to sell it, or 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 one-half ounce or more.
      • Conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree is a Class B felony. The penalties for a Class B felony include possible court fines and an up to 25 years in prison.

  • Criminal possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree
    • A person is considered guilty of possessing a controlled substance if he or she unlawfully possesses 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 four ounces or more.
      • Conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree is a Class A-II felony. The penalties for a Class A-II felony include possible court fines and an up to life in prison, with a mandatory term of between 3 and 8 years.

  • Criminal possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree
    • A person is considered guilty of possessing a controlled substance if he or she unlawfully possesses 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.
      • Conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is a Class A-I felony. The penalties for a Class A-I felony include possible court fines and an up to life in prison, with a mandatory term of between 15 and 40 years.

Statues of Limitations for Heroin Possession in New York

A statute of limitations is a set deadline for when a prosecutor can file any criminal charges. It sets a time limit for how long the crime can be prosecuted. For serious crimes such as murder, there are no statutes of limitations. However, for heroin possession the statutes depend on the level of the offense.

Individuals who are convicted for possessing less than 1/8 ounce of heroin face a Class A misdemeanor. Misdemeanors statute of limitations in New York is two years. If a person possesses more than 1/8 ounce of heroin, he or she will face felony charges. All felony charges in New York have a statute of limitations of five years.


Drug Treatment Court Programs in Nassau & Suffolk County

In some heroin possession cases, a drug treatment court program may be available. A drug treatment program is a rehabilitation program available to those whose criminal charges are related to a drug dependency. The purpose of New York's drug treatment program is to treat those with drug abuse problems so they are less likely to reoffend.

Drug treatment courts have proven effective in New York. A 2003 study conducted by the Center for Court Innovation showed that graduated from drug treatment court programs had a much lower risk of reoffending. The most beneficial part of a drug treatment program is that upon completion the alleged offender may have their charges reduced or dismissed.

Nassau County:

District Court
99 main Street, L23
Hempstead, NY 11550

Phone: (516) 572-2574, 2488
Fax: (516) 572-24291

Felony Diversion Court

County Court of Nassau County
262 Old Country Road
Mineola, NY 11501
Phone: (516) 493-3620
Fax: (516) 571-3452

Suffolk County:

John P. Cohalan, Jr. Courthouse
District Court
400 Carleton Avenue
Courtroom D-34
Central Islip, NY 11722

Phone: (631) 208-5775
Fax: (631) 853-6245


Additional Resources

Drug Treatment Court Nassau County – Visit the official website for Nassau County Courts in the state of New York. Have access to the different kinds of courts available to Nassau County residents, and the eligibility requirements. Obtain court records, contact information, and resources regarding drug treatment courts in Nassau County.

Drug Treatment Court Suffolk County – Visit the official website for Suffolk County Courts in the state of New York. See the mission statement and purpose of drug treatment courts in Suffolk County. Find the requirements one must meet to participate in drug courts, and find contact information for the key staff in the Suffolk County drug treatment court.


Lawyer for Heroin Possession in Suffolk County, New York

A heroin possession conviction can lead to some severe penalties. Legal consequences for heroin possession may include huge fines and lengthy prison sentences. It is important that you are aware of your legal options and what is to come next. If you or someone you know has been charged or arrested for heroin possession, it is vital that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Stephanie Selloni is a practiced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the intricacies of New York's criminal court system. Attorney Stephanie Selloni is knowledgeable in controlled substance possession laws. She is innovative in her defenses and will use all her available resources to help you obtain the best possible results. Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni is passionate about criminal defense and preserving her client's rights. Get a lawyer who puts your first. Contact Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today.

Stephanie Selloni is professionally recognized by her legal peers. She is a member of several reputable law associations such as the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYACDL), and the Nassau County Criminal Courts Bar Association.

Law Office of Stephanie Selloni defends those accused of heroin possession and all drug-related offenses in New York throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County including the towns, villages and cities Mineola, Central Islip, Hempstead, and Glen Cove.

Call Stephanie Selloni at 516-972-1212 regarding your eligibility for drug treatment court today.


This article was last updated on August 30, 2018.

 

 

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