The potential penalties for possessing or selling marijuana in New York depends on several factors, including how much was possessed or sold, whether or not the defendant has prior convictions, whether the offense is charged as a misdemeanor or felony and whether or not the defendant received money in exchange for the marijuana.
People who are accused of possessing marijuana for personal use may face either misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the amount in question. For possession of marijuana up to 25 grams, first-time offenders face fines of $100. For second offenses within three years, the fine increases to $200, and third offenses within three years carry fines of $250. Possession of marijuana between 25 grams up to 2 ounces carries penalties of up to three months in jail and a fine up to $500. Possession of up to 8 ounces of marijuana is a class A misdemeanor carrying up to one year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Possession of 8 ounces up to 1 pound is a felony carrying up to 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000, and possession of larger amounts carries increasing prison sentences and fines.
Selling marijuana brings harsher penalties. People who simply give away less than 25 grams of marijuana face up to three months in jail. Selling any amount to a minor is a felony carrying up to seven years in prison. Selling more than 16 ounces of marijuana carries up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug. People who are charged with possessing or selling it might want to get help from an attorney when constructing a strategy to combat the allegation.