What are the penalties for cocaine possession in New York?

In New York, drug possession charges should not be taken lightly. The criminal sentence for a drug crime conviction varies based on the classification of the drug and the amount involved. If you’ve been arrested for the possession of cocaine, you may wonder what penalties you may face. Due to the highly addictive nature of cocaine, New York carries harsh penalties. Please continue reading to learn the potential penalties for the possession of cocaine and how a trusted  Rockland County Drug Possession Attorney can help you combat your charges. 

What schedule drug is cocaine in New York?

Drugs and other substances that are considered controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) are classified into five distinct categories or schedules depending on the drug’s acceptable medicinal use for treatment and the drugs; abuse or dependency potential. The following are the different classifications of drugs:

  • Schedule I: Drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
  • Schedule II: Drugs with some medically acceptable uses but with high potential for abuse and addiction. These drugs can often be obtained through a prescription.
  • Schedule III: Drugs with low to moderate potential for abuse and addiction but less dangerous than Schedule I or II. These drugs may be obtained through prescription but are unavailable over the counter.
  • Schedule IV: Drugs with viable medical use and a low potential of use or misuse.
  • Schedule V: Drugs with low potential for abuse, lower than Schedule IV.

Under the New York State Controlled Substances Act, cocaine is classified as a Schedule II drug. Due to the highly addictive nature of cocaine, any drug charges related to this narcotic are the most serious a defendant can face.

What are the potential consequences of cocaine possession?

In New York, the potential consequences for the possession of cocaine depend on how much cocaine is involved. The penalties for cocaine possession increase as the amount of cocaine in your possession increases:

  • The possession of less than 500 mg of cocaine is a class A misdemeanor.
  • The possession of 500 mg or more of cocaine is a class D felony.
  • The possession of two or more ounces of cocaine is a class C felony.
  • The possession of four or more ounces of cocaine is a class A-II felony.
  • The possession of eight or more ounces of cocaine is a class A-I felony.
  • The possession of any amount of cocaine with the intent to sell with the intent to sell if a class B felony.

If you have a previous conviction for possession of cocaine or another controlled substance, the penalties you face will be increased. Ultimately, upon conviction, you can face years of imprisonment, overwhelming fines, and the permanent burdens of a criminal record. In some cases, a defendant may qualify to receive treatment and rehabilitation in lieu of incarceration.

If you’re facing cocaine charges in New York, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined Rockland County drug possession attorney from the Law Office of Carl Spector, who can effectively represent your interests.