Marijuana is a controlled substance that is continuing to go through a transition in this country. In a variety of different states, it has been decriminalized or both recreational and medicinal use. However, there are still many states that make it illegal to possess marijuana. In the state of New York, possession of marijuana is illegal and there are a variety of different charges associated with this crime. In total, there are six different marijuana charges. Of these charges, the second most serious charge is criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree, which is a felony in the state. This crime is covered under New York Penal Code § 221.25.
How to Be Charged
To be charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree, you will need to be shown to have violated three different considerations. The police officer and prosecutors will need to be able to prove that you possess marijuana or products containing marijuana, that you possessed it willingly, and that the marijuana weighed more than 16 ounces. If you did not meet all three of these criteria, you could still be charged with a lesser crime.
Example of the Crime
Examples of criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree are relatively simple. If you are pulled over by a police officer and the officer has reason to believe that you possess illegal substances, they could have the right to search your vehicle. If the police officer find that you possess between one and ten pounds of marijuana, they will be able to charge you with criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree. If you have more than ten pounds, you could be charged with a first degree felony offense.
Those that are charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree could also be charged with a variety of other crimes, depending on the situation. Many people charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree are also charged with criminal sale of marihuana in the second degree or criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree.
Defense of the Crime
If you are charged with criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree, there are a variety of defense options at your disposal. The most common way that people try to defend the charge is by saying that they were unaware that they had possession. If the drugs were found in a tucked away corner of your vehicle, this might be a possible defense. However, if they are found in your pockets, it could be harder to prove. If the marijuana is in a baked good, you may also be able to say that you did not know that the product contained the drug.
Another common way that criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree is defended is by claiming that the entire search process was illegal. In order for you to be charged with the crime, the officers will need to prove that you possessed marijuana. If they searched your car without probable cause, it could invalidate the possession charge entirely.
If you are found guilty of criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree, you could face some severe penalties. This is considered a Class D felony and you could face up to seven years in prison if you are found guilty. However, the actual sentence that you receive will vary based on a variety of factors. If they can prove that you intended to sell the marijuana or that you have been charged in the past with a similar crime, you jail sentence will likely be longer than someone that is charged with a first offense.
Since criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree is such a serious offense, having legal support is important. A criminal defense attorney will help you to build a defense and fight the criminal charges