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220.18 Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree is a crime that is committed if you knowingly and illegally possess drugs. In the state of New York, it is governed by New York Penal Code 220.18. It’s important to know what the law entails in case you are ever arrested under suspicion of the crime.

What Factors Must be Present According to New York Penal Code 220.18?

You can be charged with the crime of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree if any of the following criteria is a factor in your situation:

• You possess narcotics that weigh at least four ounces
• You possess methamphetamine that weighs at least two ounces
• You possess a stimulant that weighs at least 10 grams
• You possess a lysergic acid diethylamide that weighs at least 25 milligrams
• You possess a hallucinogen that weighs at least 625 milligrams
• You possess a hallucinogen that weighs at least 25 grams
• You possess methadone that weighs at least 2,880 milligrams

It should be noted that if you are arrested for the crime and are prosecuted, it doesn’t necessarily mean the police must have discovered drugs on your person. If the police uncovered the drugs in your home, vehicle or another place that you control, it’s enough for you to be prosecuted for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree. The only requirement that must be in place is that you were aware of the drugs.

For instance, if police received tips from a few people that a person had heroin in his home and they acquired a search warrant to search the premises if police discovered the drugs hidden in a small fridge in the basement and the individual knew the drugs were there, they could be prosecuted. The prosecutor in the case would have to prove that the defendant knew that the heroin was stashed away in his home.

Possible Defenses for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree

There are a few different defenses your criminal defense attorney can use if you are arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree. One of them is to challenge the charge because the amount of drugs that was uncovered was considerably less than what is mentioned in the Penal Code, which states a very specific amount in order to be prosecuted.

A criminal defense lawyer can also argue that the police discovered the drugs in an unlawful manner, such as if they did not possess a search warrant. The court would, therefore, have no choice but to dismiss the charges.

Another possible defense is for your attorney to argue that the drugs the police uncovered were not yours and that another person was the one aware of their existence. This defense is typically used when the drugs in question were not found on your person.

Possible Sentences and Penalties for Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree is considered a class A-II felony, which makes it one of the most serious crimes as per the New York Penal Code. As a result, if you are convicted of the crime, you can expect to possibly receive a term of life in prison as well as a fine amounting up to $50,000.

The actual amount of prison time a person can receive when convicted for this crime is a minimum of three to eight years. However, the individual’s actual sentence depends on a variety of factors, including whether they have a prior criminal history.

If you are arrested for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, fighting for your rights. Get in touch with a New York criminal defense lawyer at your earliest convenience.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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