Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th degree, NY Penal Law, s. 220.03


Drug Possession cases in New York are serious.  If you possess any controlled substance whatsoever (no matter how little the amount), you can be charged with this crime in Ithaca and surrounding communities.  

Controlled substances can be cocaine, heroin, bath salts, methamphetamine, pills (not in a prescription container), concentrated cannabis (hash, etc), ketamine, and many other possible recreational or even prescription medication. 

This law is violated if a person knowingly and unlawfully possesses a controlled substance. See Penal Law, s. 220.00] This is a Class A misdemeanor.  


  1. $0-$1000 fine
  2. Up to 1 year in jail
  3. Up to 3 years Probation (closely monitored community supervision & frequent drug testing)
  4. A permanent criminal conviction (DNA sample given to police, DNA fee)
  5. Court surcharges of $200 (city) or $205 (town)

Possession in New York can be legally found in several ways.  If the police find drugs on your person due to a legal search.  That is a no brainer.  We would need to challenge if the police search was, in fact, legal. 

However, New York has passed "presumptive possession" laws that many people are not aware of... 

  • if you are in a room containing drugs, you can be presumed to "possess" them legally, and we would need to fight the charge in a criminal case to convince the Judge and Prosecutor that the drugs are not yours
  • if you are in the passenger compartment of a car and drugs are found, then you are presumed to legally "possess" them, and we would need to fight the charge in a criminal case to convince the Judge and the Prosecutor that the drugs are not yours

 There are many ways to defend a possession case.  Given the serious penalties associated with drug possession in New York, it is always in a Defendant's best interest to hire a local criminal defense attorney when facing drug possession charges of any level.  

If you are charged with drug possession in New York, call us:  607-229-5184    

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