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Drug possession charges in New York result when a person knowingly and willfully possesses a controlled substance. Although the state no longer mandates minimum jail sentences for these crimes, penalties are still among the highest in the nation. 

These are the legal consequences for the most common types of New York drug crimes. 

Fifth-degree possession 

This charge is a Class D felony, applying to possession of: 

  • At least 500 milligrams of powder or crack cocaine 
  • At least 1,000 milligrams of ketamine 
  • At least 50 milligrams of a narcotic drug 

Conviction carries at least 12 months and up to 30 months in prison or on probation for the first offense. The second offense carries 18 months to four years in prison or on parole. If you previously had a violent felony conviction, you could receive 30 months to 4.5 years in prison. 

Fourth-degree possession 

This charge is a Class C felony, applying to possession of: 

  • At least 1/8 ounce of a narcotic drug 
  • At least 1/2 ounce of methamphetamine 
  • At least 1 milligram of LSD 
  • At least 1 gram of a stimulant 
  • At least 25 milligrams of a hallucinogenic drug 
  • At least 10 ounces of a dangerous depressant 
  • At least 4,000 milligrams of ketamine 
  • At least 360 milligrams of methadone 

Conviction carries at least one year and up to 5.5 years in prison or on probation for the first offense. The second offense carries two to eight years in prison or on parole. If you previously had a violent felony conviction, you could receive 3.5 to nine years in prison. 

Some cases of possession in New York constitute so-called consumptive possession. The law presumes that everyone in a room or vehicle knows about the presence of a controlled substance. You can receive criminal charges even if the drug was not on your person, in your home or in your vehicle. Convictions involving minor children result in more severe penalties.