Drug Possession Lawyer in Williamsville, NY

Drug Arrests

Possession of Controlled Substances laws in New York cover a wide range of drugs, from narcotics and hallucinogens to concentrated marijuana. Through drug sentencing reforms enacted in 2009 courts now have greater flexibility in sentencing paving the way for a skilled criminal defense attorney to negotiate resolutions that would not have been possible less than a decade ago.

Scheduling of Controlled Substances under New York Law

The Controlled Substance Schedules in the Public Health Law include a very large number of substances and compounds, not all of which are included here. However, the partial list below provides a sampling of the type of drugs falling within each category.

Schedule I includes:

MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine)
PCP (phencyclidine)
Psilocybin (mushrooms)

Schedule II includes:

OxyContin (oxycodone)
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
Ritalin (methylphenidate)
Precursors to methamphetamine or phencyclidine
Anabolic steroids
Raw opium and its extracts

Schedule III includes:

ØConcentrated cannabis (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol)
ØSchedule IV includes:
ØXanax (alprazolam)
ØAtivan (lorazepam)
Halcion (triazolam)
Ambien (zolpidem)

Marijuana Possession

The classification of marijuana as a schedule I substance in New York State means that it is identified as a drug that has a high likelihood of abuse without medical value. The level of offense charged for marijuana possession will be based on the weight of marijuana found in your possession as follows:
Greater than 10 pounds – C Felony
Greater than 16 ounces – D Felony
Greater than 8 ounces – E Felony
Greater than 2 ounces – A Misdemeanor
Greater than 25 Grams – B Misdemeanor
Illicit Drugs and Paraphernalia — Drug Charges in Williamsville, NY

Use of Judicial Diversion Programs as an Alternative to Incarceration

In April, 2009 the New York State legislature passed sweeping legislation reforming the state's harsh drug sentencing laws. Among the bill's 33 separate provisions, Section 4 established a Judicial Diversion Program (JDP) which went into effect in October 2009. The JDP allows judges to sentence some offenders with substance abuse problems to treatment programs instead of incarceration, and to forego accepting a guilty plea prior to sentencing if it would have harmful collateral consequences on the defendant, such as removal proceedings for immigrants or affect a defendant's housing benefits.

Mr. Santoro has been successful in utilizing these various programs permissible under the sentencing guidelines as an alternative to having his client's serve a period of incarceration. Mr. Santoro is advocates for his client's opportunity to obtain the treatment necessary to battle their addiction.