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SoloLawyer
SoloLawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2949
Experience:  Licensed Missisippi Attorney; Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury, and Civil Defense
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i am from upstate new york. was caught with less then a half

Customer Question

i am from upstate new york. was caught with less then a half gram of cocaine at a outside concert. what am i looking at for punishment with no other record. i have a buisness and daughter to worry about , are they in jeopardy..
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
Hello -

Thanks you for contacting JustAnswer.

It is really going to depend on the exact weight of the cocaine.

NY Penal Code defines Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 5th Degree (A Class D Felony) as one who possesses 500 milligrams of cocaine or more. This equals half a gram (or more). The punishment for a Class D Felony is at best, XXXXX XXXXX at worst, 2.5-7 years in the Pen. (this is with no priors, as you have stated).

If the cocaine does not weight .5 gram, you will prob guilty of Poss in the 7th degree, which is probation at best, XXXXX XXXXX year in jail at worst (again, with no Priors).

Since you are a first time offender, and it sounds like an upstanding citizen with a business and a family, the Judge should give you a break for such a smal amount. There may be a drug-program diversion for first-time offenders, but I am not sure if you will qualify. You will need to speak to your attorney about this.

I hope this helps.

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.

Regards,

Michael

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
the apperance ticket states CPCS 7
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
I am unable to find a reference to CPCS 7. Anything else written on the ticket?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
criminal possesion of a controlled substance in the 7th. is what the officer said. he also said i will not receive jail time and should have nothing to worry about in regards XXXXX XXXXX daughter. violation of 220.03 penal code. should a public deffender be able to take care of this matter? i dont have the money to hire an expensive lawyer. what are the chances of getting this matter droped from my record?
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your response.

Okay, so it is Criminal Possession in the 7th Degree. This is a very good thing for you. This means that it was under .5 a gram and is a misdemeanor.

Since you are a first time offender, you should be able to get off with a fine. And the officer is correct, you need not worry about your daughter.

A public defender will be able to take care of this for you. There are no complicated legal defenses that you need to assert. I am a Public Defender and handle these cases very often.

You should be able to get this expunged from your record, since it is your only offense. Your public defender should be able to tell you the conditions in which your record may be sealed; however, you may have to wait a little while for that.

I'm happy this ended up being a misdemeanor for you. Take care.

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.

Regards,

Michael
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

you say i should be able to get off with a fine...? does this mean no probation(not holding you to it).... im trying to keep this very secretive as i am a well known and liked individual who just happen to be doing the wrong thing. does news like this always hit the newpaper..what is this fine usually in the amount of? if they reweigh the cocaine and it showsto be over .5 can the up the charges at a latter date to a felony

Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your response.

1. "you say i should be able to get off with a fine...? does this mean no probation(not holding you to it)" - No, this means a fine instead of jail time. You will most certainly be given probation. However, if you do not get in trouble again, the probation goes away. It is a non-reporting probation, which means you do not have anyone that you have to speak with or report about your actions while under the probation. No one will know about it but you.

2. "does news like this always hit the newpaper?" Usually, yes. I had a client call me this morning and say, "Did you read the paper this morning?" (meaning he was in in).

3. "what is this fine usually in the amount of?" - Your public defender should be able to tell you more about this, but it won't be much. A couple hundred dollars for the fine, + court costs. I would guess somewhere in between $500-$1000, but it shouldn't be on the high end.

4. "will they reweigh the cocaine?" - No, they won't. They don't have time for things like that. This is a small misdemeanor matter to them and they would have no reason to raise it up.

Good luck.

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.

Regards,

Michael
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

non-reporting probation...ive never heard of it. is it kinda like a conditional discharge???

Is that common for theses cases..

 

and once again i can use my money for the fine rather then a high priced lawyer???

is this a pretty cut and dry matter..?

 

you have been a great help.. this site is great

Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your response.

There are two kinds of probation - reporting and non-reporting. Reporting probation is used for more violent crimes and larger penalty crimes. The person has a "probation officer" (I'm sure you've heard of this) and has to report to them.

For misdemeanors such as this, the probation is non-reporting. Which means that all the probation really is, is a promise from the State that if you mess up again within the probationary period, you will receive some jail time. So stay out of trouble!

I am unable to make a determination of what you will actually receive, as I am not the Judge, but since this is a misdemeanor and you don't have a criminal history, you should be ok.

Good luck.

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks. Bonuses are always appreciated for exceptional Answers! :)

Regards,

Michael
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

do i need to contact a public deffender or wait untill court for one to be assigned to me.

 

 

 

thank you so much....u have releived much of my stress and worries..

I mite be able to sleep tonite..thanks Again

Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
The Court will assign one to you.

I'm glad I could help you out. Take care.

Don't forget to click ACCEPT.

Thanks,

Michael
SoloLawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2949
Experience: Licensed Missisippi Attorney; Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury, and Civil Defense
SoloLawyer and 2 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
As a follow up -

I have been advised by a fellow Expert of mine that your probation WILL be reporting, not non-reporting as I advised. He also advised that they will weigh the cocaine to make sure it is under .5 grams, but your attorney should be able to get you off with a "disc con" - a violation and not a crime - because misdemeanors can not be expunged.

I apologize for the unclear information.

Regards,

Michael



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

none of the information you additionally gave me was correct.... what is dis con

do i know need to hire a better lawyer. can they up the violation to a felony if it was more then a half gram

Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
I'm sorry about the confusion.

I am going to "Opt-Out" to allow another Expert to answer your specific follow up questions so you have the best information available to you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
if you opt out do i get a refund??
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
I will be happy report that you would like a refund. Remember that the basis of my answers were true and I did spend time researching NY Penal Code for the statute. However, customer satisfaction is paramount here

Michael
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 years ago.
I am a NYS public defender and can answer your questions if you would prefer that to a refund.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i would rather have the questions answerd... are you aware of the matter
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 years ago.
Yes, I'm aware of the matter. The previous expert was mostly right. However, you were getting very state-specific, so there are some things I would like to clarify. On the whole, the results are better for you rather than worse. So breathe more easily. Give me a few minutes to type up the answer for you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
i apologize...i havent been in trouble before and dont know what to expect im worried and nervous. u are from new york.. so you would be more familiar with these cases in this area?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 years ago.
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.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

if the ticket stays as a criminal poss in the 7th . how long may the probation be and around what fine would be given.

do they weigh the bag AND it contents?

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 years ago.
Misdemeanor probation is 3 years of supervision. Felony probation is 5 years. The maximum fine on an A misdemeanor would be $1,000. (A B misdemeanor has a max of $500). Generally, if you got probation, there would be no fine.

If you got a disorderly conduct and a fine, the fine could be as much as $250.

For cocaine, the weight is of the illicit substance itself, not the container. They would need more than half an ounce of cocaine (14.17) grams to charge the felony possession.

_________

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.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

is there a way that i could be represented buy you...

 

what are the chances of a conditional discharge>? if i pay a higher fine and community service.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 years ago.
No, unfortunately the terms of service on this site does not allow expert and customer to exchange personal identifying information for any reason, including representation. In any case, you're always better off with a lawyer who regularly practices in the courthouse where your case will be heard. That lawyer will know all the judges and the ADAs and will have a track record and a history of credibility with the court, which will make negotiations easier for him than with a outsider.

Also, though this is your first offense, and you're certainly right to be concerned, as a case itself, it's pretty garde variety. You're not going to need Perry Mason, and your worst case scenarios here (upgrading the weight, for example, or enormous fines) are not likely to come true.

The chances of a conditional discharge rather than probation are very good. You won't get the conditional discharge if you pay a fine. You won't get the fine if you are sentenced to a conditional discharge. With a disorderly conduct -- which doesn't give you a criminal record -- if you couldn't get the conditional discharge, it would still be worth it to have the fine but not the misdemeanor.

You will find community service very intrusive if you have a business. You'd be better off without it and I don't in general think that avoiding it will be a problem.

There is, before I forget, a mandatory state surcharge (court costs) which would be assessed. It's now $175 for a misdemeanor and $95 for a violation. There may also be small local court costs. You'd be given a date by which you had to come back to pay the surcharge.

____________

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.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you very much.

 

 

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 4 years ago.
Good luck!

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