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Is It Illegal to Possess Certain Drugs Without a Valid Prescription in New York?

Certain drugs can be useful in medical practice but harmful without regulation. Possessing certain drugs without a valid prescription is a serious crime in New York. if you are facing charges related to drug possession, contact a New City illegal prescription drug possession lawyer for help.

Is It a Crime in New York to Possess Drugs Not Prescribed to You?

Drugs can be damaging to people’s mental and physical health, but there are positive medicinal aspects to their use. While they can be healing, in the wrong hands they can be dangerous which is why it is illegal to possess certain drugs if they were not prescribed to you by a licensed medical professional.

What Are Controlled Substances?

Certain drugs are controlled, meaning that the government limits and regulates their distribution. Controlled substances include opioids, stimulants, depressants, hallucinogens, and some steroids. Controlled drugs are separated into five schedules, I being the most prone to abuse and addiction, and V being the least but still having the potential to be abused. Although these drugs can be dangerous and cause addiction, they have valid medical use for certain illnesses. Some drugs that the U.S. government regulates include:

  • Codeine
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Fentanyl

Because of their potential danger, it is illegal in New York to possess the above drugs, and more, without a valid prescription.

What Are the Penalties For the Possession of Drugs Without a Valid Prescription?

You may face various charges if you are caught having prescription drugs that do not belong to you, or selling controlled substances. While there are misdemeanor charges, the following is a list of potential felony charges.

Class D Felony

  • Possession of the following
    • 0.5 oz of a narcotic preparation
    • 50 mg to 250 mg of PCP
    • 500 mg or more of cocaine
    • 1,000 to 4,000 mg of ketamine
    • 28 to 200 g of GHB
  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Minimum of 1 year and up to 2.5 years in prison

Class C Felony

  • Possession of the following
    • ⅛ to 0.5 oz of a narcotic
    • 0.5 to 2 oz methamphetamine
    • 1 to 5 mg of LSD
    • 25 to 625 mg of a hallucinogen
    • 250 to 1,250 mg of PCP
    • 360 to 2,880 mg of methadone
    • 4,000 g or more of ketamine
    • 200 g or more of GHB
  • Fines up to $15,000
  • Minimum of 1 year and up to 5.5 years in prison

Class B Felony

  • Possession of the following
    • 0.5 to 4 oz of a narcotic
    • 5 to 10 g of a stimulant
    • 5 to 25 mg of LSD
    • 1,250 mg or more of PCP
  • Fines up to $30,000
  • Minimum of 1 year and up to 9 years in prison

Class A-II Felony

  • Possession of one of the following
    • 4 to 8 oz of a narcotic
    • 2 oz or more of methamphetamine
    • 25 mg or more of LSD
    • 625 mg or more of a hallucinogen
    • 2,880 to 5,760 mg of methadone
  • Fines up to $50,000
  • Minimum of 3 years and up to 10 years in prison

Class A-I Felony

  • Possession of the following
    • 8 oz or more of a narcotic
    • 5,760 mg or more of methadone
  • Fines up to $100,000
  • Minimum of 8 years and up to 20 years in prison

Selling prescription drugs is always a felony. Each charge may be accompanied by probation, community service, mandatory drug classes, and other related penalties.

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