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What to know about a Class A drug possession charge

Drug possession charges under New York law vary based on the drug type and amounts.

Criminal drug possession in the seventh degree is a Class A misdemeanor. It occurs if you knowingly and unlawfully have a controlled substance in a quantity that does not warrant a felony charge.

What are the possible consequences of possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree?

Although this is not a felony charge, it is still a serious crime. You could face a potential jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.

Will you have a permanent record with a drug possession conviction?

Even though seventh-degree possession is a misdemeanor, you will have a permanent criminal record if convicted. A drug conviction is a public record. It can affect your current employment status and your job prospects in the future. You can lose college scholarships, grants or loans or find it challenging to rent an apartment or qualify for assistance programs.

How can you defend your controlled substance charge?

Depending on your circumstances, there are many strategies to defend against possession in the seventh degree:

  • You did not knowingly possess an illegal substance
  • You have a lawful prescription
  • You had a legal substance that resembles a banned drug
  • You are a victim of an unlawful search and seizure
  • Your charge stems from seeking medical attention for a drug overdose or emergency

New York prosecutors and law enforcement take all drug charges seriously, making it essential to have a thorough understanding of your charges, your legal rights and your defense options.