Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the 5th degree Penal Law, s. 221.10


This charge is the next tier up from "Unlawful Possession of Marijuana."  It is a criminal offense and must be defended seriously. The penalties are harsh and, if convicted, will result in a permanent criminal conviction...

A person is guilty of this offense…when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses:  1. Marijuana in a public place and such marijuana is burning or open to public view; or 2.  One or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing marijuana and the preparations compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of MORE THAN 25 GRAMS.   This is a Class B misdemeanor.


  1. $0-$500 fine
  2. up to 90 days in jail
  3. up to 1 year Probation (closely monitored community supervision & frequent drug testing)
  4. Court surcharges of $200 (city) or $205 (town)
  5. A permanent criminal conviction (DNA sample required. DNA fee).

  This charge must be fought aggressively due to its harsh criminal penalties.  We can often defend this type of marijuana charge using the Criminal Procedure Law, 170.56 and have the case dismissed, if the Defendant meets the following criteria:

  • has no criminal record;
  • has never used CPL 170.56 before;
  • this was the ONLY charged offense;
  • has no other history of drug or alcohol-related offenses.

 If you meet these criteria and are charged with this crime (or any marijuana possession charge), then we may be able to get your charge Adjourned in Contemplation of Dismissal (i.e. dismissed after 6 months).  

As with any criminal charge, we will defend the case based upon the facts and circumstances surrounding the stop and arrest.  With respect to this crime, the police would either have to prove that the marijuana was burning or in public view; OR was a mixture of marijuana and other compounds weighing more than 25 grams.  If it is less than 25 grams, then it would be the violation level Unlawful Possession of Marijuana [see our other article on this site]. 

If you are charged with any level of Marijuana possession, call us: 607-229-5184

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