Drug Possession: Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance

There are six different degrees of criminal possession of a controlled substance, and the higher counts carry with them withering penalties. This is true, despite the growing change in popular opinion that stiff prison sentences for drug possession are too draconian. Part of the reason for this shift in popular opinion is due, in part, to the steep rise in heroin use in recent years. It is for this reason that heroin currently stands out as the most vilified drugs by prosecutors and courts alike.

If a person is found to be in possession of a narcotic drug (most commonly heroin and cocaine), they could be charged with anything from criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree to criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree. The spectrum of offenses for possession of a controlled substance span from an “A” misdemeanor at the low end of the spectrum to a class “A-1” felony.

The spectrum of offenses for criminal possession of a controlled substance include the following:

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree: class “A” misdemeanor.
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree: class “D” felony.
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree: class “C” felony.
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree: class “B” felony
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree: class “A-II” felony.
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree: class “A-I” felony.

If you have been charged with any drug possession offense, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make will be your choice of an attorney. You will need an attorney that not only knows the law, but also knows how to negotiate a drug case and has a track record of winning drugs cases when a trial is necessary. Drug cases are unlike any other case, and given the vast array of ways to resolve them, selecting an experienced drug possession criminal lawyer is imperative.

About Criminal Defense Attorney Matthew Hug

Matthew Hug is an experienced criminal defense attorney serving Albany, Troy, Schenectady and elsewhere in Upstate New York’s Capital Region. He has demonstrated his ability to secure very favorable reductions in drug possession cases and has successfully defended his clients at trial where a satisfactory reduction could not be obtained.

In the recent past, Matthew Hug has obtained a reduction of a 9 count drug possession and sales indictment, exposing his client to more than 20 years in prison, to a sentence of probation. Where a trial is necessary Matthew Hug has demonstrated his ability when he took a 200+ count, 30 person indictment to trial against the New York State Attorney General’s Office and secured a complete dismissal of all charges against his client following a 13-week trial.

If you have been charged with a drug possession offense, contact Albany criminal defense attorney Matthew Hug today at 518-283-3288 or complete our quick and easy contact form for your free case evaluation.