NYC Drug Paraphernalia Lawyers
The state of New York has a massive problem regarding drugs, which has resulted in more than forty drug-related offenses being added to the penal code. Most of the laws are focused around the possession and distribution of marijuana and other controlled substances, but other laws make the possession of items that are required for distributing and manufacturing controlled substances illegal.
This means that in addition to the manufacture and possession of these drugs being illegal, it’s also illegal to possess the substances and equipment necessary to sell the drugs. This equipment is called drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia includes items that people would only possess if they planned to package and distribute drugs.
If you were arrested on a charge related to drug paraphernalia, you will most likely face additional charges relating to the possession and distribution of the drug. For this reason, you should get in contact with an experienced New York lawyer as soon as possible so that you understand your options and defense. Spodek Law Group is a group of the most skilled lawyers in New York City.
Drug Paraphernalia Offenses
Three drug paraphernalia offenses are defined according to the statute for controlled substances.
Second degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia is a charge that you will face when you possess items that are used for the dilution of narcotics. These might include gelatin capsules for drug packaging, adulterants, and dilutents. Also included are equipment used for the weighing of controlled substances, vials, and glassine envelopes. This charge is a class A misdemeanor, and the penalty includes up to one year spent in jail.
First degree criminal use of drug paraphernalia is the same as the previous charge, but it will be leveled against you if you’ve already been convicted of a second degree offense. This is classified as a class D felony, and the penalty includes up to seven years imprisoned.
Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances is a charge that will be leveled against you when you own precursors. Precursors are substances which are necessary for the manufacturing of controlled substances. The penal code specifically lists substances that qualify as precursors. Possessing these with the intent to manufacture drugs is considered a class E felony, and it carries penalties of up to four years imprisoned. The precursors include lithium, piperidine, pentazocine, formamide, ammonia, ergot, and urea.
Generally, a charge for paraphernalia possession will be an ancillary charge in addition to a more serious drug-related charge such as possessing controlled substances, selling controlled substances, or manufacturing methamphetamine.
Controlled Substance Possession Offenses
Six offenses refer to the unlawful possession of controlled substances. The charges vary based on the amount of the substance and the type of substance involved. These are the main offenses:
- Seventh degree criminal possession – the minimum charge you might face for criminally possessing a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor with sentences of up to one year in jail
- Fifth degree criminal possession – the least serious felony related to controlled substances, given when people have more than the minimum amount of a certain drug
- Fourth degree criminal possession – possession of drugs in specified minimum amounts, also including illegal drugs like methamphetamine and LSD
- Third degree criminal possession – possession of illegal drugs or possession of controlled prescription of medication with intent to sell
- Second degree criminal possession – possession of a substantial number of specified drugs including hallucinogens, methamphetamine, and stimulants
- First degree criminal possession – possession of at least eight ounces of narcotic drug preparations or at least 5,760 methadone milligrams