New York has long been known as having among the toughest drug laws in America. New York classifies well known substances like heroin and cocaine, as well as the compounds used to manufacture them.
In 1973, New York passed the toughest laws of its kind in all the United States. Known as the Rockefeller Drug Laws, the penalty for selling two ounces (57 g) or more of heroin, morphine, opium, cocaine, or cannabis (or possessing four ounces (113 g) or more of the same substances), was a minimum of 15 years to life in prison, and a maximum of 25 years to life in prison. The laws were named after then governor Nelson Rockefeller, who had Presidential aspirations and championed the bill to be tough on crime.
After more than three decades, these laws were revised in 2009 to remove the mandatory minimum sentences. The change allowed judges to sentence individuals convicted of drug offenses to treatment or to short sentences.
Based on this legislative history, New York's drug laws are complex, even convoluted. There are half a dozen different classes of felonies laid out for drug possession alone. It's imperative to consult an experienced New York drug crime attorney if you are charged with a drug offense.
With that caveat, the basic provisions of New York cocaine laws are listed in the table below. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section and Details on State Cocaine Laws to learn more.
||Penal §§220, et seq.; Pub. Health §§3306, 3307
||Class D felony to knowingly possess 500 milligrams or more of cocaine
||Class B felony to possess with the intent to sell any amount of a narcotic drug and/or one gram or more of a stimulant
Note: Again, New York's drug laws are intricately written and require intensive legal research. Contacting a New York drug crime attorney is your best course of action, as well as conducting exhaustive legal research to verify where you fall under the statute.
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Get Help With Your New York Drug Charges From a Criminal Defense Lawyer
While not the worst crime you could be accused of committing, possession of cocaine in New York can carry some steep penalties -- particularly if you have been charged with possession with the intent to sell. Learn more about possible defenses to your case and other helpful information by getting in touch with a New York drug crimes attorney.