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Marijuana Possession

Marijuana Possession and Sale Charges in NY

Manhattan Marijuana Crimes Defense Attorney

The opinions of Americans regarding marijuana laws are changing. Many states have allowed people to possess marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. Despite this trend, marijuana remains illegal in most places, including New York. District Attorneys are still aggressively prosecuting these cases, even if the only charge is possession. Our experienced Manhattan marijuana crime lawyer can help you if you find yourself under arrest for these accusations.

If you, or a loved one, is accused of possessing or selling marijuana, do not hesitate to contact John Buza today for a free consultation.

Marijuana Possession Charges

In New York, marijuana cases are handled differently than other drug cases. First off, it is worth mentioning that the New York legislature and its courts insist on spelling it as “Marihuana.” No, it is not a typo.

In the 1970's, New York decided that it was going to treat marijuana more liberally than other drugs. It is because of this decision that marijuana law in New York is complex. The following is an example of New York’s Marijuana laws:

  • If a person possesses less than 25 grams of marijuana, then that possession is only a violation and not a crime.
  • This means that as far as the legal system is concerned, sanctions for that possession are more similar to traffic violation sanctions, than sanctions for an actual crime.
  • If you are guilty of possessing less than 25 grams of marijuana, you did not commit a crime and you cannot go to jail (as long as you haven’t been previously convicted of this same violation).
  • The harshest punishment that you can receive for possessing less than 25 grams of marijuana is a $100 fine.

However, this process changes if that very same marijuana was possessed in a public place and it was burning or it was open to public view. If that’s the case, you can go to jail for up to 90 days. This confusing loophole has frustrated many, and even the state’s district attorneys have lobbied to decriminalize minor possession of marijuana. Nonetheless, the law currently remains in effect.

If a person is found is possession of more than 25 grams of marijuana, then the violation becomes a crime, and you could be facing possible jail time. In New York, the more marijuana you possess, the steeper the penalties, with the most severe being a Class E felony for the possession of 10 pounds or more.

Sale of Marijuana in New York

When it comes to sale, if a person sells marijuana to another person, then that seller is guilty of a class A misdemeanor which is punishable by up to a year in jail. The buyer of the marijuana is simply guilty of possessing the marijuana he just purchased.

However, if a person is guilty of selling more than 25 grams of marijuana, that crime is punishable by a class E felony. The buyer would be guilty of possessing the amount of marijuana he just purchased. Moreover, if a person is guilty of selling more than sixteen ounces of marijuana, then he is guilty of a class C felony, the steepest charge for criminal marijuana sale in New York.

Have You Been Charged with a Marijuana Offense?

Criminal Sale or Possession of marijuana in any degree is serious and a conviction may carry stiff penalties. At the Law Office of John Buza, PC our Manhattan marijuana crime attorney fights to have charges reduced, dismissed, or prevented from being filed to begin with. Schedule a free consultation to tell us more about your case and learn how we can help.

Call (212) 577-9328 to arrange your free case evaluation.


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