Drug / Narcotic Charges

Michael Joseph is a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer with extensive experience in handling the criminal defense of drug charges including both misdemeanors and felonies in the New York Metropolitan area including the New York City Courts (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan) and Westchester including the Criminal Courts of White Plains, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Scarsdale, Valhalla, Greenburgh, Mount Kisco, Rye, Port Chester and Armonk.

As New York and Westchester Criminal Defense Attorneys we provide aggressive representation of drug and narcotic charges. Drug charges range from basic misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, to felony level drug possession based upon the weight or amounts of the drug possessed and sale of controlled substance.

Search and seizure issues are common and each case requires an extensive analysis. Since most drugs are found as a result of a search, issues regarding the validity of search warrants must be investigated. Also stop and frisk seizures often implicate constitutional challenges, as do searches based on traffic stops. If a violation of a client?s constitutional rights can be established, evidence can be suppressed. Often if the evidence is suppressed, there is no case.

Another defense is lack of knowledge or possession. Often when the police find drugs in a car, they will arrest everyone in the car if no one admits to it. However, merely being in a car where drugs are located is not a crime. They must prove you knew the drugs were there. These cases can be defended by testimony that the defendant knew nothing about the drugs.

A brief summary of New York's Drug Laws are as follows:

  • Possession Of A Controlled Substance:
  • Class A Misdemeanor: Penal Law 220.03
  • Possession of any controlled substance below felony weight

Criminal Possession Of A Controlled Substance In The Fifth Degree
Penal Law 220.06 Knowingly and unlawfully possessing a controlled substance with intent to sell it;
OR
KNOWING AND UNLAWFULLY POSSESSING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING DRUGS WITH THE FOLLOWING WEIGHTS:

  • One or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic preparation of an aggregate weight of onehalf ounce or more
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) and said phencyclidine weighs fifty milligrams or more
  • Concentrated Cannabis A preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances
  • with an aggregate weight of onefourth ounce or more; or
  • Cocaine and which weighs five hundred milligrams or more
  • Ketamine and said ketamine weighs more than one thousand milligrams
  • Ketamine (any wight) with a previous conviction of possession or the attempt to commit possession of ketamine.
  • Gamma Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB)

Criminal Possession Of A Controlled Substance In The Fourth Degree:
Class C Felony: Penal Law S 220.09
Knowingly and Unlawfully Possessing:

  • A preparation, compound, mixture or substance containing a narcotic drug
  • with an aggregate weight of oneeighth ounce or more
  • A preparation, compound, mixture or substance containing Methamphetamine
  • (Meth, Crystal Meth), which weighs onehalf ounce or more
  • A preparation, compound, mixture or substance containing a narcotic
  • preparation and with an aggregate weight of two ounces or more
  • A Stimulant which weighs one gram or more
  • Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) which weighs one milligram or more; or
  • A hallucinogen which weighs twentyfive milligrams or more
  • A hallucinogenic substance and said hallucinogenic substance weighs one
  • gram or more
  • A dangerous depressant and such dangerous depressant weighs ten ounces or
  • more; or
  • A depressant and such depressant weighs two pounds or more
  • One or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing
  • concentrated cannabis with an aggregate weight of one ounce or more
  • Phencyclidine (PCP) which weighs two hundred fifty milligrams or more or
  • with intent to sell PCP possessing PCP whtih weigs more than 50 milligrams
  • with a prior PCP conviction
  • Ketamine which weighs four thousand milligrams or more; or
  • A preparation, compound, mixture or substance containing gamma
  • hydroxybutyric acid, with an aggregate weight of two hundred grams or more

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree: Class B felony Penal Law 220.16
Knowingly and Unlawfully Possession of: A narcotic drug with intent to sell it;

  • A stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or lysergic acid diethylamide, with intent to sell it and a prior conviction of a drug offense
  • A stimulant with intent to sell it which weighs one gram or more; or
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide with intent to sell it and said lysergic acid diethylamide weighs one milligram or more; or
  • A hallucinogen with intent to sell it which weighs twentyfive milligrams or more; or
  • Ahallucinogenic substance with intent to sell it and said hallucinogenic substance weighs one gram or more; or
  • A preparation, compound, mixture or substance containing Methamphetamine intent to sell it and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of oneeighth ounce or more
  • A stimulant and said stimulant weighs five grams or more; or
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide and said lysergic acid diethylamide weighs five milligrams or more
  • A Hallucinogen which weighs one hundred twentyfive milligrams or more
  • A hallucinogenic substance and said hallucinogenic substance weighs five grams or more
  • One or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing a narcotic drug and said preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of onehalf ounce or more; or
  • Phencyclidine which weighs one thousand two hundred fifty milligrams or more.

Criminal Possession Of A Controlled Substance In The Second Degree: Class AII Felony Penal Law: 220.18
Knowingly and Unlawfully Possession of:

  • A preparation, compound, mixture or substance containing a narcotic drug with an aggregate weight of four ounces or more
  • A preparation, compound, mixture or substance containing Methamphetamine, with an aggregate weight of two ounces or more
  • A stimulant which weighs ten grams or more
  • Lysergic acid diethylamide which weighs twentyfive milligrams or more
  • A hallucinogen and said hallucinogen weighs six hundred twentyfive milligrams or more
  • A hallucinogenic substance and said hallucinogenic substance weighs twentyfive grams or more
  • Methadone which weighs two thousand eight hundred eighty milligrams or more.

Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree: ClassAI felony. Penal Law 220.21
Knowingly and unlawfully possession of:

  • A preparation, compound, mixture or substance containing a narcotic drug with an aggregate weight of eight ounces or more
  • Methadone which weighs five thousand seven hundred sixty milligrams or more.

We proudly serve the communities of the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan) and Westchester including White Plains, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Scarsdale, Valhalla, Greenburgh, Mount Kisco, Rye, Port Chester and Armonk.