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Cocaine Use in the U.S.: Legal Status and Penalties for Possession in New York

Cocaine is one of the most popular recreational drugs in the United States. Derived from the leaves of a coca plant, “coke” or “blow” is a powerful stimulant that generally comes in powder form and snorted, giving users, giving users an intense feeling of euphoria for a short period of time.

However, cocaine is classified by federal law enforcement agencies as a Schedule II controlled substance, which is a high potential for abuse and dependency and has limited medical acceptance. Cocaine possession in New York is punishable by harsh criminal penalties because even a small amount of cocaine can be charged as a felony offense.

The following is a breakdown of the penalties associated with cocaine possession by weight:

  • Less than 500 milligrams (mg) – Possession of this amount of cocaine in New York is classified as criminal possession in the seventh degree, which is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine not exceeding $1,000.

  • At least 500 mg – Possession of this amount of cocaine is classified as criminal possession in the fifth degree, which is a Class D felony that is punishable by imprisonment for up to seven years.

  • At least 1/8 of an ounce (oz) – Possession of this amount of cocaine is classified as possession in the fourth degree, which is a Class C felony that is punishable by imprisonment for up to 15 years.

  • At least ½ oz – Possession of this amount of cocaine is classified as possession in the third degree, which is a Class B felony that is punishable by imprisonment for up to 25 years.

  • At least 4 oz – Possession of this amount of cocaine is classified as possession in the second degree, which is a Class A-II felony that is punishable by life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $50,000.

  • At least 8 oz – Possession of this amount of cocaine is classified as possession in the first degree, which is a Class A-I felony that is punishable by life imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for cocaine possession or any other drug crime in Albanycontact O’Brien & Eggleston PLLC today at 518-391-2369 for a free initial consultation. Get more than two decades of combined experience on your side. 

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