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Felony Marijuana Possession

A 2018 New York Department of Health report concluded that a legal, regulated market for recreational marijuana (also known as marihuana, cannabis, pot, and weed) would offer numerous benefits for the state. Medical marijuana has been available in New York since 2014. However, recreational use and possession of the plant is still illegal and can lead to very steep consequences. 

Drug possession laws in New York are incredibly complex. The severity of charges against you for possession of marijuana can range from a small fine to spending a large portion of your life behind bars. If you’ve been caught with a substantial amount of marijuana, you’re probably looking at felony charges.

Defense Attorney for Felony Marijuana Possession on Long Island, NY

You may not know what to do after you’ve been arrested for possession of marijuana. It’s scary to be charged with such a serious crime. You probably feel uncertain about what’s next. A qualified defense attorney can reassure you and clarify how to defend against your charges.

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni will aggressively fight for you. Call Stephanie Selloni today at (516) 972-1212 or complete a convenient online form to schedule a free case evaluation. Stephanie will review your case and recommend the next steps for the best possible outcome. Stephanie represents Long Island clients just like you in Garden City, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and New York City.

Overview of Felony Marijuana Possession in New York

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Possible Penalties for Felony Marijuana Possession on Long Island

Penalties for possession of under 8 ounces of marijuana range from violations ($100 fine) to misdemeanor charges (up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine). A violation is not a crime and will not appear on your criminal record.

Possession of more than 8 ounces of marijuana is a felony. Felony charges increase based on the quantity of marijuana in your possession. A judge may choose not to sentence you to jail for misdemeanor convictions. However, felony marijuana possession charges carry mandatory minimum sentences. New York prescribes the following penalties:

  • Third-degree marijuana possession (8 to 16 ounces): 1- to 4-year prison sentence;
  • Second-degree marijuana possession (1 to 10 pounds): 1- to 7-year prison sentence; and
  • First-degree marijuana possession (10 pounds or more): 1- to 15-year prison sentence.

Each penalty increases if you have a prior felony conviction on your record. A conviction for any felony marijuana possession charge could also result in a fine of up to $5,000.

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Defending Against Felony Marijuana Possession Charges in Suffolk County

You have the presumption of innocence until you are proven guilty. An experienced criminal attorney can help you maintain your innocence. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni can identify any defenses in your favor and may be able to get the charges dismissed. 

One of the most common defenses is to attack the legality of the search. A police officer is not allowed to conduct a search without probable cause, a warrant, or permission from the suspect. If it can be proven that a law enforcement official searched you illegally, any evidence gathered during that illegal search cannot be used against you. This means your case could be dismissed.

A crucial element of New York’s possession laws is that you must have possessed marijuana knowingly. If you claim that the marijuana was not yours, the burden is on the prosecution to demonstrate that it was. This can be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. 

A knowledgeable drug crimes attorney can advise if any of these defenses are viable for you. The weaker the prosecution’s case, the stronger your chances of reducing or dismissing the charges.

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Additional Resources

Estimated Tax Revenues from Legalization | NYC Comptroller – New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office published a page in May 2018 with projections of the tax revenue that could be earned from statewide legalization of marijuana for all adults. Read here to compare sales and tax revenue figures between several other states that have legalized marijuana. 

Offenses Involving Marihuana | NY Senate – The New York State Senate publishes a digital copy of New York’s laws on its official website. Article 221 of the New York Penal Laws is devoted solely to marijuana-related offenses. Visit this website to review the laws governing the different degrees of criminal marijuana possession.

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Defense Lawyer for Felony Marijuana Possession on Long Island, NY

Until New York law finally catches up with the public opinion that marijuana shouldn’t be illegal, getting arrested with marijuana in your possession can land you in a lot of trouble. Defending yourself against felony marijuana possession charges can be a daunting task, especially when you’re facing big fines and prison time. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni offers a free consultation. 

Fill out the online form or call (516) 972-1212. Attorney Stephanie Selloni will carefully review your case and advise how you should proceed. Don’t assume your own defense against marijuana charges. If you want to ensure the best possible outcome for yourself, contact the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today to get started. Stephanie represents clients in Central Islip, Hempstead, Glen Cove, and other communities across Nassau and Suffolk County.

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