What You Need to Know About Drug Possession Law in Queens NY
By Space Coast Daily // December 20, 2018
Whether you frequently possess drugs or not, it is in your best interest to understand the basics of controlled substance laws in Queens, NY. We help you do so in the sections below by explaining the requirements for drug charges and going over a variety of conditions that might change the nature of your case.
The Requirements For Charging You
If your drug-related incident meets the following four requirements, the New York legal system has a right to punish you.
- The drug is a controlled substance.
- You were in possession of it.
- You knew about that possession.
- The possession was unlawful.
The first two points are straightforward, but the next two can be a bit confusing. For number three, you must be aware of the possession of the drug. If someone plants a substance on you without your knowledge, you may not be charged for it. The fourth point refers to the opposite of lawful possession, which covers drugs that you have a prescription for.
In Car Vs. On Person
While you might expect a different legal framework for possession in cars versus on your person, this is not the case. Selling or possessing a drug in your vehicle will lead to typical controlled substance charges, not a simple traffic ticket. For this reason, you have to always be careful with what you have in your car, as you will be responsible for it.
You might be thinking that the rules surrounding possession in vehicles are unjust. A fair thought to have is that you could avoid being charged with a crime by saying that the drugs in your car are not yours. Unfortunately, the city of New York presumes that anything you have in your vehicle is yours so that defense is almost never valid. The result of this policy is that you must be careful with who you allow and what activities you permit in your car.
Marijuana Vs. Other Drugs
The one illicit drug that law enforcement treats differently is marijuana. The reason is that New York City has eased their laws on this drug.
In the past, you would be arrested for possession, but times have changed. You now receive a citation and a court appearance, but the fine will be manageable, and you shouldn’t have any marks on your record after you resolve the issue. Additionally, New York has a medical marijuana system that you could be eligible for.
Selling or Possession?
One of the factors that affects your drug-related ruling the most is whether you were selling or merely possessing the substance. For the former, your punishment will be much more severe, as the legal system sees you as a danger to the community.
As far as the latter, charges can still be serious, but you’ll likely fare much better. One gray area in the legal system is possession of a large amount of a substance. Some judges will rule that this is an indication of being a dealer and you’ll be punished as if you were caught making a sale.
The Drug Itself
As we discussed above, marijuana yields much more lenient treatment than any other illicit substance. Additionally, different drugs are associated with varying levels of punishment. The hardest of them will likely put you in jail, or close to it, while less harmful substances will come with less of a legal consequence.
No matter what the conditions of your drug possession case are, your best bet is hiring a Queens attorney. The reason why is simple: You need to do everything you can to reduce your punishment and make your future as bright as it can be.
Getting a mark on your record or spending time in prison is one of the worst things that can happen to a person, so avoiding those results needs to be at the top of your priorities. The best way to protect yourself is through hiring an attorney, who will be an advocate for you throughout the process and get you the best result possible.
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