Marijuana

Medical Marijuana Charges/Offenses

Each jurisdiction throughout the greater New York area has various diversion programs for certain misdemeanor and felony offenses, including an “adjournment in contemplation of dismissal” or drug treatment programs.

Many people who contact our office already know that entering a treatment program is not necessarily the right thing to do given the facts of their particular case.

Medical Marijuana Patients and Custody Rights

Medical marijuana, while recently legalized in New York, is highly regulated to prevent abuse. Prospective patients must consult a practitioner who is registered with the New York State Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program. If the practitioner believes medical marijuana is appropriate for the condition, a patient can then receive a certification for medical marijuana. Eligible conditions typically include only severely debilitating or life-threatening conditions such as:

  • Cancer
  • HIV infection or AIDS
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Spinal cord injury with spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Neuropathy
  • Huntington’s disease
  • Chronic pain (as defined by 10 NYCRR §1004.2(a)(8)(xi))

Moreover, the severe condition must be associated with or complicated by one of the following:

  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Severe, chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures
  • Severe or persistent muscle spasms

These are serious conditions. But if your illness is not a reason to deny you child custody, neither should your treatment be. The courts in New York decide child custody issues on the best interest of the child. That is a finding that requires a thorough examination of all relevant factors and cannot depend solely on a prescription for medical marijuana.

We aggressively litigate child custody disputes. We will not allow your case to be unduly prejudiced by ignorant, antiquated attitudes toward medical marijuana use. We are prepared to present the court with the full picture of how you cope with your disability, adhere to your treatment program, and retain your ability to be an effective parent and a positive presence in your child’s life.

Marijuana Related Offenses in the State of New York

In New York, marijuana is not generally considered a controlled substance or a narcotic under the state’s drug crime statutes. Instead, marijuana charges are separately defined under Penal Law § 221 which provides for several different types of penalties for marijuana-related offenses. The penalties associated with marijuana charges often depend on the amount of marijuana found, whether the marijuana was in plain sight and whether there is evidence of an intention to sell or distribute.

If you have been cited or arrested for any marijuana or cannabis related offense (also commonly called pot or weed), call the Law Offices of Joseph S. Gulino, Jr., Esq., PLLC at (914) 292-9272 for a consultation. Contact an experienced marijuana defense attorney for the five boroughs of New York City, including Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx, as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

Marijuana Defense Attorney in Westchester, NY

We represent professionals charged with marijuana offenses who are particularly affected by the collateral consequences of being cited or arrested for the offense. Collateral or indirect consequences include reporting requirements for school teachers, pilots, law enforcement officers, members of the military, nurses and other healthcare professionals.

High school, college and graduate students throughout New York can also face disciplinary actions brought by the educational institution, even if the criminal charges are dropped. College and graduate school students can also lose their federally-funded loans based upon any drug conviction. Drug convictions that make someone ineligible for student loans and other financial aid can include any marijuana offense such as Unlawful Possession of Marihuana under New York Penal Law §221.05.

You also must be aware that a conviction for any marijuana crime or any narcotics crime, whether misdemeanor or felony, will result in a mandatory driver’s license suspension for six months.

A criminal summons or arrest for any marijuana offense in New York can also have other serious consequences, including the creation of a criminal record, possible loss of child custody, problems for parents who want to adopt or become foster parents, loss of public housing, and the possible loss of financial aid. These marijuana charges are among the most common criminal charges in New York and the United States.

Call the Law Offices of Joseph S. Gulino, Jr., Esq., PLLC at (914) 292-9272 for a consultation today.

Possession of Marijuana Laws in New York

Any possession of marijuana offense of 25 grams or more can be charged as a criminal offense. The maximum penalty involved depends on the amount of cannabis seized.

For informational purposes, a determinate sentence is a sentence for a specific period of time and not within a range of time. In other words, when a determinate sentence is between 1 to 2.5 years, the sentence will be a straight amount of time within those guidelines, so, for example, it could be a straight 2 years.

The law requires that at the end of every determinate sentence, a period of Post-Release Supervision must follow.  Post-release supervision is similar to parole.  Under New York Penal Law § 70.45, post-release supervision begins when a person is released from prison.  If the person violates the conditions of the post-release supervision, he or she could go back to prison for a period up to the balance of the remaining time of the post-release supervision.  For example, if a person is released from prison with two years of the period of post-release supervision and violates after six months, he or she could get sent back to prison for up to 1.5 years.

Amount Charge Jail Time Fine
25 g or less – Penal Law §221.05 violation 15 days and/or fine $100 (1st offense) $200 (2nd offense)
$250 (3rd offense)
25 g to 2 oz (or any amount in plain view) – Penal Law §221.10 class B misdemeanor 3 months and/or fine and/or 1 year of probation $500
2 to 8 oz – Penal Law §221.15 class A misdemeanor 1 year and/or fine and/or 2-3 years of probation $1,000
8 to 16 oz (first felony offense) – Penal Law §221.20 class E felony 1.5 – 2 years determinate sentence plus post-release supervision of 1-2 years, or 3-5 years of probation $5,000
8 to 16 oz (second offense with prior non-violent felony) class E felony 1.5 – 2 years determinate sentence plus post-release supervision of 1-2 years, or 3-5 years of probation $5,000
16 oz to 10 lbs (first offense) – Penal Law §221.25 class D felony 1 – 2.5 years determinate sentence plus post-release supervision of 1 year, or 3-5 years of probation $5,000
16 oz to 10 lbs (second offense with prior non-violent felony) class D felony 1.5 – 4 years determinate sentence plus post-release supervision of 1 – 2 years, or 3-5 years of probation $5,000
More than 10 lbs (first offense) – Penal Law §221.30 class C felony 1 – 5.5 years determinate sentence plus post-release supervision of 1 – 2 years, or 3-5 years of probation $15,000
More than 10 lbs (second offense with prior non-violent felony) class C felony 2 – 8 years determinate sentence plus post-release supervision of 1.5 – 3 years, or 3-5 years of probation $15,000

Call the Law Offices of Joseph S. Gulino, Jr., Esq., PLLC at (914) 292-9272 for a consultation today.