The possession and/or sale of Marijuana (spelled ‘Marihuana’ in the Penal Law) can be the basis for a number of legal offenses in New York State, the titles of which can be rather confusing. Here’s a quick summary of some typical marijuana charges and the consequences of a conviction.
Unlawful possession of marihuana (“UPM”), as defined by Penal Law Section 221.05, is a violation punishable only by a maximum fine of $100 on a first-time conviction. However, if you have been previously convicted of a marihuana offense under Article 221 or any controlled substance offense under Article 220 within the past 3 years, then the maximum fine is $200. If you have two prior convictions within the past 3 yeas, then the maximum penalty is a $250 fine and/or 15 days jail.
Criminal possession of marihuana (“CPM”) in the 5th degree (possession in a public place or more than 25 grams), under Section 221.10, is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 3 months in jail.
Criminal possession of marihuana in the 4th degree (more than 2 ounces), under Section 221.15, is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail.
Criminal possession of marihuana in the 3rd degree (more than 8 ounces), under Section 221.20, is a class E felony punishable by a state prison sentence.