I am a New York City public defender with more than 17 years of doing nothing but NYS criminal law.
1) If you have your own business, it is likely that the judge will not allow you to have a public defender. By all means try. This is likely to be a quick disposition, so maybe the judge won't look too closely at your financial eligibility. Otherwise, you'll be told to come back with a lawyer. You shouldn't need to spend a lot of money on him, as he will only be around for one or two court dates.
2) In NYC, a first misdemeanor drug offense is worth a Disorderly Conduct
, which is a violation and not a crime, and a conditional discharge ("go home, be good, or the case can reopen for the period of a year"). That's all I would hope it's worth upstate too. However, as places outside the City have less volume, courts may take misdemeanors somewhat less lightly. Realistically, though, the very worst you are looking at with no priors would be the A misdemeanor and probation, and frankly, I think your lawyer should be able to do better. Adult misdemeanor convictions are not
expungeable down the road in NYS, so you will want a disorderly conduct or something that won't give you a drug criminal history if you can get it.
3) There should be a lab report on your court date, and the drugs will have been retested and reweighed by then. NYS does bother to do this because if it turns out that the drugs aren't controlled substances, the case against you has to be dismissed. If the weight is way off and supports a felony, yes, you will be charged with a felony and arraigned on that charge on your court date.
I don't see that as at all likely, but if it's a felony, you would be still be looking at probation for a first drug offense on a 220.06 with no priors, the only difference being how long the probation would last. (And, if it's close enough the DA would bargain it down to a misdemeanor anyway),
Again, the previous expert was not very far off the mark.
If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.
This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice.