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Understanding Third-Degree Drug Possession Charges in New York

The mere mention of third-degree drug possession charges in New York can be alarming. At our NYC criminal defense law firm, we specialize in the complexities of New York drug laws, offering you the guidance and support required during this challenging period.

Facing drug possession charges in NY necessitates a legal team well-versed in New York drug laws. The ability to craft a robust defense strategy is vital. Our dedicated NYC criminal attorneys have the expertise and resources essential for advocating for your rights and safeguarding your best interests throughout the legal proceedings.

Our NYC criminal defense firm has a strong track record in successfully defending clients against drug possession charges in New York. Recognizing the severe consequences of a conviction, we diligently construct a defense approach tailored to your unique case. Rest assured, our experienced legal team will rigorously analyze the evidence, challenge any procedural missteps, and negotiate aggressively with prosecutors for reduced charges or penalties. Should your case go to trial, our skilled NYC litigators are prepared to advocate assertively for your innocence.

THIRD DEGREE CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

In its relentless efforts to combat drug abuse within its borders, New York has implemented a comprehensive set of laws aimed at punishing the illegal possession of controlled substances. Among these laws is Article 220.16 of the N.Y. Penal Code, which specifically addresses the offense of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree. This statute, comprising 13 subdivisions, serves as a crucial tool in the state’s battle against drug-related offenses. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of this statute, explore its implications, and shed light on the severe penalties associated with a conviction.

The statute encompasses various subdivisions, each addressing specific aspects of drug possession offenses. These subdivisions take into account factors such as the type and quantity of the controlled substance involved, as well as the intent behind the possession.New York classifies Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree as a Class B felony. This classification reflects the state’s recognition of the severity of this offense. Upon conviction, individuals may face substantial penalties, including a maximum prison sentence of up to 25 years and a fine of up to $30,000. It is important to note that the exact penalties can vary based on factors such as prior criminal history, the specific circumstances of the case, and any aggravating factors present.

Given the substantial consequences associated with a conviction for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, it is crucial to seek competent legal representation. Navigating the intricacies of the law requires the expertise and guidance of a skilled attorney who can build a strong defense strategy tailored to the unique circumstances of your case. An experienced lawyer will thoroughly analyze the evidence, challenge the prosecution’s case, and explore all possible defenses to safeguard your rights and secure the best possible outcome.

Alternative Sentencing Options: While the penalties for this offense can be severe, it is important to remember that there may be alternative sentencing options available. A knowledgeable attorney can advocate for reduced charges or alternative sentencing arrangements that prioritize rehabilitation over incarceration. Exploring these options can be critical in mitigating the long-term impact of a conviction and facilitating the individual’s successful reintegration into society.

ATTORNEY FOR THIRD DEGREE POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

Facing charges for possession of drugs in the third degree under New York law can have serious consequences, including potential imprisonment and a permanent criminal record. Hiring a law firm that specializes in criminal defense can be crucial for several reasons: 

1. Legal Expertise: A law firm specializing in criminal defense will have a deep understanding of New York drug laws and the specific elements required to prove possession in the third degree. They will be well-versed in the relevant statutes, case law, and legal strategies to build a strong defense on your behalf.

2. Case Evaluation: A law firm can evaluate the specific circumstances of your case and identify any potential legal defenses or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. They will thoroughly review the evidence, police procedures, and any constitutional violations to determine the best course of action.

3. Protection of Rights: It is essential to have an attorney who will protect your constitutional rights throughout the legal process. They will ensure that law enforcement and prosecutors have followed proper procedures, such as conducting lawful searches and seizures, respecting your Miranda rights, and upholding your right to due process.

4. Negotiation and Plea Bargaining: A skilled law firm will have experience negotiating with prosecutors to potentially reduce charges or secure favorable plea bargains. They can advocate on your behalf to minimize potential penalties and explore alternatives to incarceration, such as rehabilitation programs or probation.

5. Trial Representation: If your case goes to trial, a law firm will provide experienced trial attorneys who can effectively present your defense, challenge the prosecution’s evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and deliver compelling arguments to the jury. They will work tirelessly to secure an acquittal or reduce the severity of the charges.

6. Knowledge of Alternative Sentencing Options: In some cases, a law firm can explore alternative sentencing options, such as drug diversion programs, treatment programs, or other rehabilitative measures. They will use their knowledge of the law and their relationships with the legal community to advocate for the best possible outcome for you.

7. Emotional Support and Guidance: Dealing with criminal charges can be emotionally challenging. A law firm can provide you with the necessary support, guidance, and reassurance throughout the legal process. They will explain the steps involved, answer your questions, and help alleviate some of the stress associated with your case.

At  Ilganayev Law Firm, PLLC we specialize in providing expert legal representation and guidance for individuals facing drug possession charges. Our dedicated team of experienced attorneys is committed to defending your rights and protecting your future.

CHARGES FOR THIRD-DEGREE CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A 

CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE 

In New York law, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree is governed by NY Penal Law 220.16. This offense involves the unlawful possession of specified amounts of a controlled substance 12. The specific types of charges for this offense can vary depending on the circumstances and the type of controlled substance involved. 

In accordance with Article 220.16 of Title M in the New York Penal Law, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree occurs when an individual knowingly and unlawfully possesses certain substances with the intent to sell them. The specific circumstances and substances involved determine the charges. These include possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell, possession of a stimulant, hallucinogen, or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) with intent to sell (in cases where the individual has a prior conviction under N.Y. Penal Law § 220 or an attempt or conspiracy to commit such an offense), possession of a stimulant or LSD with specified weights, possession of a hallucinogen or hallucinogenic substance with specified weights, possession of preparations containing methamphetamine with intent to sell and a specified aggregate weight, possession of a stimulant, LSD, hallucinogen, or hallucinogenic substance with higher specific weights, possession of preparations containing a narcotic drug with a specified aggregate weight, and possession of phencyclidine (PCP) with a specified weight.

MEANING OF TERMS CONCERNING THIRD DEGREE CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE

The meaning of terms concerning third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance in New York law can be found in Article 220.16 of the New York Penal Law.This article outlines the specific elements and conditions that constitute this offense. It includes provisions regarding possession of different substances with the intent to sell, the quantities or weights that determine the severity of the offense, and any prior convictions that may enhance the charges.

In accordance with the provisions of New York law, the term “possess” is defined as having physical possession or exercising dominion or control over tangible property, as stated in N.Y. Penal Law, Part 1, Title A, Article 10.00(8).

Possession can take two forms: actual possession and constructive possession. Actual possession occurs when law enforcement discovers a weapon on an individual or their belongings, and no other person has equal access to it. Constructive possession, on the other hand, arises when multiple individuals have access to a weapon, such as a weapon found in a drawer or glove box of a vehicle where more than one person has access to it.

In accordance with the applicable statutes in New York, an individual is considered to “knowingly” possess a controlled substance when they are fully aware that they are in possession of such a substance, as outlined in N.Y. Penal Law, Part 1, Title B, Article 15.05(2).

Furthermore, an individual is deemed to “unlawfully” possess a controlled substance when they have no legal entitlement to possess it, as described in N.Y. Penal Law § 220.00(2) and N.Y. Public Health Law § 3396(1), with certain exceptions that are not relevant in this context. It should be noted that, under the law, individuals generally do not have a legal right to possess a controlled substance.

The term “controlled substance” is defined as any substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of N.Y. Public Health Law § 3306, excluding marijuana but including concentrated cannabis, as stated in N.Y. Penal Law § 220.00(5).

As per the applicable statutes in New York, the term “narcotic drug” refers to any controlled substance listed in Schedule I(b), I(c), II(b), or II(c), with the exception of methadone. This definition can be found in N.Y. Penal Law § 220.00(7) and N.Y. Public Health Law, Title 1, Article 33, § 3306.

Moreover, the term “aggregate weight” pertains to the total weight of the substance containing the specific controlled substance, regardless of the actual amount of the controlled substance present within the substance itself. This interpretation can be referenced in the case of People v Mendoza, 81 NY2d 963, 965 (1993).

According to the relevant provisions of New York law, the term “stimulant” refers to any controlled substance listed in Schedule I(f) or Schedule II(d) of N.Y. Penal Law § 3306, as stated in N.Y. Penal Law § 220.00(11).

Similarly, the term “hallucinogen” is defined as any controlled substance listed in Schedule I(d)(5), (18), (19), (20), (21), and (22) of N.Y. Penal Law § 3306, as outlined in N.Y. Penal Law § 220.00(9). Furthermore, a “hallucinogenic substance” is considered to be any controlled substance listed in Schedule I(d) of N.Y. Penal Law § 3306, excluding concentrated cannabis, LSD, or a hallucinogen, as defined in N.Y. Penal Law § 220.00(10).

The term “sell” is defined as the act of selling, exchanging, giving, or disposing of a controlled substance to another individual, as noted in N.Y. Penal Law § 220.00(1) and further supported by the case of People v. Samuels, 90 N.Y.2d 20 (2002).

WHAT ARE THE COMPONENTS OF THIRD-DEGREE CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE?

In New York, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree is defined by two main elements. The first element is knowingly and unlawfully possessing one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing a narcotic drug, with an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more. The second element is knowingly and unlawfully possessing one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, or salts of isomers, with an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more. This offense is classified as a Class B felony under New York Penal Law 220.16, and the penalties can include imprisonment for a term of 1 to 9 years and fines of up to $30,000.

INTENTION OF SELLING A NARCOTIC DRUG 

Under New York law, the intent to sell a narcotic drug is a criminal offense. Specifically, according to New York Penal Law 220.16, a person can be charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree if they knowingly and unlawfully possess a narcotic drug with the intent to sell it 12. This offense is classified as a Class B felony.

The term “narcotic drug” refers to substances such as heroin, cocaine, opium, morphine, or any other drug classified as a narcotic under New York law. To be charged with intent to sell a narcotic drug, the person must have the conscious objective or purpose of engaging in the sale of the narcotic drug.

If convicted, the penalties for this offense can include imprisonment for a term of 1 to 9 years and fines.

WITH A PRIOR CONVICTION, STIMULANT, HALLUCINOGEN OR LSD SALES INTENT

To establish the guilt of a defendant in a case of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree with intent to sell a stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or LSD under New York Penal Law section 220.16(2), a judge or jury must be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt of the following elements:

  1. The defendant possessed a specific stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or LSD on a specific date in a particular county.
  2. The defendant knowingly and unlawfully possessed the specific stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or LSD on the aforementioned date in the specified county.
  3. The defendant knowingly and unlawfully possessed the specific stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or LSD with the intention to sell it.
  4. If the defendant denies or remains silent about a prior conviction, it must be proven that the defendant has previously been convicted of a specific crime.

TO SELL WITH INTENT (PURE WEIGHT COUNT)

To convict a defendant of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree with intent to sell, as outlined in N.Y. P.L. sections 220.16(3), 220.16(4), 220.16(5), or 220.16(6), a judge or jury must find the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant had possession of a specific stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or LSD on or around a particular date in a specific county.
  2. The defendant knowingly and unlawfully possessed the specific stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or LSD on the aforementioned date in the specified county.
  3. The weight of the controlled substance in the defendant’s possession exceeded a specific legal threshold weight.
  4. The defendant knowingly and unlawfully possessed the specific stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or LSD with the intent to sell it.

ATTEMPT TO SELL ONE-EIGHTH OUNCE OR METHAMPHETAMINE

To convict a defendant of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree (attempt to sell one-eighth ounce or more containing methamphetamine) under N.Y. P.L. § 220.16(7), the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had possession of methamphetamine or related substances, unlawfully and knowingly, in one or more forms. Additionally, the aggregate weight of the substance(s) must be one-eighth ounce or greater, and the defendant must have possessed the substance(s) with the intent to sell.

WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE IN THE THIRD DEGREE?

Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree is classified as a Class B Felony in the state of New York. If a person is convicted of this offense, they can face significant legal consequences. According to N.Y. Penal Law, Part 2, Title E, Article 70.70(2)(a)(i) and Article 80.00(1)(c)(iii), the penalties for a Class B Felony include a prison sentence ranging from one to nine years. In addition to imprisonment, the convicted individual may also be subject to a fine of up to $30,000. It is important to note that these penalties can vary based on the specific circumstances of the case and the discretion of the court.

FIND AN ATTORNEY IN NEW YORK CITY FOR CRIMINAL POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE IN THE THIRD DEGREE

When it comes to drug possession charges, the stakes are high. Hiring an attorney who specializes in drug possession cases is crucial to protect your rights and ensure the best possible outcome. With their in-depth knowledge of drug laws, ability to build a strong defense strategy, and negotiation skills, they can significantly impact the trajectory of your case. Don’t face drug possession charges alone; consult Ilganayev Law Firm, PLLC, a firm who will fight for your rights and help you navigate the legal complexities with confidence.

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ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. This blog post is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal guidance related to your situation, please consult with an attorney. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

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