A New York Defense Attorney Explains Penalties for Meth Possession
Methamphetamine is a Schedule II substance under federal law and is considered a dangerous and highly regulated controlled substance. A defendant who has been accused of possession of meth with intent to sell or deliver could face a lengthy mandatory minimum sentence if charged under federal law. Defendants could also face charges in the state of New York. While federal penalties are typically much more serious, defendants do not get to choose whether it is the U.S. attorneys office that presses federal charges or a local district attorney in New York that pursues a case for a state-level meth offense.
Whether you are facing criminal penalties under New York law or under federal law, you need to understand the legal defense options available to you. Some defendants are able to negotiate immunity deals by providing information on other drug offenders, while others can secure acquittals by introducing doubt into the prosecutor’s case against them. In yet other situations, negotiating a plea deal is the best solution.
Bukh Law Firm, PLLC understands both state and federal laws related to the possession of methamphetamine. Our experienced legal defense team will help you to do everything you can to fight against being convicted of a crime that carries a lengthy mandatory minimum sentence. Give us a call as soon as you have been charged so we can begin to work on your defense strategy with the goal of helping you to navigate the criminal justice system as effectively as possible.
New York Laws on Meth Dealing
New York has several different sections in the penal code which establish penalties for the unlawful sale of a controlled substance.
• Under New York Penal Code section 220.39, a person is guilty of third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance for knowingly selling one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances which contain methamphetamine or which contain any of its isomers, salts of isomers, or preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances with a total combined weight of 1/8 of an ounce or greater. This is a Class B felony.
• New York Penal Code Section 220.41 defines the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree to include knowingly selling methamphetamine or any mixtures or substances with methamphetamine that weigh ½ ounce or greater. This is a Class A-II felony.
• New York Penal Code section 220.43 defines the criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree to include knowingly selling preparations, mixtures, or compounds of a narcotic drug with an aggregate weight of two or more ounces. This is a Class A-1 felony.
The amount of meth sold will determine the charges faced. Defendants can also face more serious consequences for repeat convictions for drug crimes.
Federal Laws on Selling Meth
The federal government defines prohibited acts with controlled substances in 21 U.S. Code section 841. Intent to sell is grouped with manufacture and distribution under federal law and prosecutors do not specifically have to prove that you actually sold any meth to charge you with a very serious crime. Instead, penalties- which usually include mandatory minimum jail sentences- are determined based on how much meth is considered to be under your control.
You can be charged with possession with intent to sell just for having large volumes and the penalties can range from a minimum prison sentence of five years for a first offense of having five grams or more of pure meth or 50 grams or more of a mixture containing meth, to life imprisonment for a third offense of having 50 grams or more of pure meth or 500 grams or more of a meth mixture.
Getting Help from a NY Drug Defense Lawyer
When you are charged with dealing meth, you cannot afford to take any chances on trying to handle the charges yourself or on being represented by a lawyer without experience in drug cases. You need a consummate legal professional who understands state and federal drug laws and who can provide the assistance you need in vigorously fighting charges that could land you in jail for years.