If you’ve recently been arrested for crack possession, you’re likely facing serious legal penalties. You could end up with fines, years of probation or even years in jail, although all this will depend on the details of the case. Here’s what you need to know about crack possession charges in New York, including how the state classifies it, what the punishment can be and what your defense options are.
Laws in New York Pertaining to Crack Possession
Crack is obviously on New York’s list of controlled substances, which means it’s illegal to possess it without a lawful reason. There aren’t any lawful reasons for most citizens to have crack in their possession, although law enforcement officers and drug researchers may possess it temporarily for their professions.
The drug possession laws in New York classify crack possession under possession of a controlled substance. Here are the degrees of possession and the corresponding amounts of crack you would need to possess for each degree:
To be guilty of possession, you must have possessed the crack, meaning you either had it on you or it was located on property that belongs to you, such as in your car. The prosecution must also prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed it knowingly.
Penalties for Crack Possession
Even with seventh-degree possession, a court could sentence you to up to one year in jail. Felony crack possession charges could lead to longer prison sentences. You may also end up with fines.
The exact penalties you’re facing will depend on a few key factors. The court will consider how much crack you had in your possession and whether you have any prior offenses. Your penalties could be more severe if it’s proven that you were also selling crack or had intent to sell, if you manufactured it or if you possessed it in a school zone.
Legal Defenses to Crack Possession Charges
There are all kinds of potential legal defenses to use depending on your particular situation, but a couple defenses are used most often.
The first is claiming that you weren’t aware of the substance you possessed. This would make it unknowing possession, which doesn’t satisfy the requirements for it to be a crime. Just because there was crack on your property or even on your person doesn’t necessarily mean you knew it was there.
The second is claiming that the police shouldn’t have been conducting a search in the first place, making any evidence they found inadmissible. Police officers need to have probable cause that a crime has been committed before they search you or your property. If a police officer pulled you over for a broken headlight and decided to search your car for no reason without your consent, that would be an illegal search.
Helping You Get the Best Result in Your Case
One thing is certain when you’re facing crack possession charges – no matter the amount of crack involved, you need an experienced crack possession lawyer. We have a firm full of lawyers who can ensure that the state doesn’t overstep their boundaries. We’ll protect your rights, prepare a defense strategy and represent you during the entirety of your case, whether it ends in court or with a plea.