Due to the high potential for abuse, the risk of severe psychological and physical dependence, and the overall danger it poses to the general public, the possession and sale of cocaine are illegal in the United States. If you’ve been caught in possession of cocaine, it’s in your best interests to contact a skilled Garden City, New York, Cocaine Possession Attorney who can guide you through your legal options and combat your criminal charges. Please continue reading to learn about the potential penalties for the possession of cocaine in New York.
What Schedule Drug is Cocaine?
The United States Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970 to combine all substances that were in some manner regulated under existing federal law into one of five schedules. The CSA was meant to help law enforcement, more specifically, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), prosecute violators of drug crimes based on the substance’s medical use and the substance’s abuse or dependency potential. The schedules range from Schedule I to V.
Schedule I drugs are considered to have the highest risk of abuse and have no recognized medical use, while Schedule V drugs are considered to have the lowest potential for abuse and dependency. Due to the highly addictive nature of cocaine, it falls under the classification of Schedule II controlled substances. While it’s highly addictive, it’s considered less addictive than Schedule I drugs and has some medical use. In today’s society, cocaine is not used for medical treatment. However, it was once used as a topical anesthetic. Therefore, cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug.
What is the Punishment for Possession of Cocaine in New York?
The penalties for drug crimes are dependent on the type of drug and the amount involved. In New York, an arrest for possession of less than 500 milligrams of cocaine is classified as criminal possession in the seventh degree, a Class A misdemeanor. This offense is punishable by a possible penalty of one year in jail. If the quantity of cocaine in possession is 500 milligrams, it’s considered criminal possession in the fifth degree, a Class D felony. This offense is punishable by a potential sentence of up to seven years imprisonment. If the quantity of cocaine in possession is at least 1/8 of an ounce of cocaine or a mixture, it’s considered criminal possession in the fourth degree, a class C felony. This offense is punishable by a possible sentence of up to 15 years imprisonment.
When an individual possesses at least 1/2 of an ounce of cocaine or a cocaine mixture, it’s considered criminal possession in the third degree, a class B felony. This offense is punishable by a potential sentence of up to 25 years imprisonment. This charge escalates if an individual has at least 4 ounces of cocaine in their possession to criminal possession in the second degree, a class A-II felony. This offense is punishable by life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Furthermore, the most severe possession charge is when an individual possesses at least 8 ounces of cocaine. This is classified as criminal possession in the first degree, a class A-I felony, which is punishable by a possible sentence of life in prison and a hefty fine of up to $100,000.
For more information on the punishments for this drug crime in New York, please don’t hesitate to contact an adept attorney from the legal team at Grunwald & Seman, P.C. We are prepared to represent your interests and fight to shield you from your criminal charges.