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What Are Common Drug Possession Crime Sentences in NY?

Posted by Daniel DuBois | Jan 16, 2023 | 0 Comments

Hello and welcome back to the DuBois Law Blog! Here on the blog, we disseminate available information to lead to a more informed public for the good residents of New York. This blog is not legal advice, but hopefully, the general principles and topics discussed can be useful. 

If you've been charged with drug possession, one of the first things you may be wondering about is the potential jail or prison time you could face if convicted. Many factors go into determining how much time you may be incarcerated. The main factors that go into your sentence are the severity of the charges brought against you. Primarily, the number of drugs you allegedly had, with prior convictions also playing a role. 

Felony or Misdemeanor Charges?

We recently talked about the differences between felony and misdemeanor charges in New York in a blog last month, check it out

One thing that determines the potential sentence is whether the charges are at the state or federal level. State charges tend to average around 20 months, or just under 2 years. Federal charges tend to average around 81 months, or a little less than 7 years. More serious charges tend to be brought at the federal level, which is one reason for the jump. 

Possible Average Sentences for Drug Possession Crimes

Allow us to lay out some of the possible charges that you could face in New York state in order to show what the average sentences could be. 

Criminal possession of a controlled substance is a charge that comes in various degrees of severity. In the seventh degree, which is a Class A misdemeanor, the maximum sentence is one year. When in the fifth degree is a Class D felony, with a max sentence of around 4.5 years.  Possession in the 4th degree is a Class C felony with a 9-year max sentence. Possession in the 1st degree is the most severe, being a Class A-I felony, with a maximum punishment of 25 to life. 

Maximum sentences are much, much higher than what the averages come out to. If that alone doesn't show you why you need one of NY's top criminal defense lawyers on your side, give us a call! The first consultation is free. The right attorney could get you the shortest sentence or even a “not guilty” verdict. Proper representation and presentation matters! 

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