Methamphetamine, more commonly known as crystal meth, is a highly addictive drug. Although legally obtainable via prescription as an ADHD or obesity treatment, methamphetamine is otherwise considered a “controlled substance,” whose manufacture, possession, and sale are illegal.
State Penalties for Possession and Trafficking of Methamphetamine:
Anyone arrested for possession of less than ½ of an ounce of methamphetamine can be charged with criminal possession in the 7th degree, which is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. An arrest for possession of more than ½ of an ounce can lead to a charge of criminal possession in the 4th degree, a Class C felony punishable by 1-5½ years in prison. Second time offenders may face up 8-9 years. Possession of 2 ounces or more of methamphetamine is criminal possession in the 2nd degree, a Class A-II felony that carries a 3-10 year prison term. Second time offenders can face 14-17 years. Selling less than 1/8 of an ounce is classified as criminal sale of a controlled substance in the 5th degree, a Class D felony that can, if convicted, result in 1-2½ years in prison. Second time offenders may be sentenced to anywhere up to and including 4-4½ years. If someone is arrested for possessing 1/8 of an ounce or more of methamphetamine with intent to sell, they can be charged with criminal possession in the 3rd degree, which is a Class B felony and punishable by 1-9 years in prison for a first offense and 12-15 for a repeat offense. Selling ½ ounce or more is classified as criminal sale of a controlled substance in the 2nd degree, a Class A-II felony with a punishment of punishable 3-10 years in prison for a first offense, and 14-17 for a second offender.
When is the best time to act?:
If you have been charged with possession and / or trafficking of methamphetamine, you should consult a criminal defense attorney immediately. This is a very serious charge with major consequences for your future.
Attempt to Commit Conspiracy, Conspiracy, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance, and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance
Difference between New York state and federal statutes:
On the federal level, a first conviction for possession of methamphetamine in any amount can result in up to 1 year in jail and a minimum fine of $1,000. A second conviction is punishable by 15 days to 2 years in prison, as well as a $2,500 fine. A third conviction can lead to a minimum time in jail of 90 days and a maximum period of 3 years in prison, as well as a fine of $5,000. Sale or possession with intent to sell less than 5 grams of methamphetamine is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000,000. If the amount is 5 grams or more, the penalty is 5-40 years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000,000. 50 grams or more can result in a sentence of 10 years to life and a maximum fine of $4,000,000.
Having a valid methamphetamine prescription, unlawful search and seizure, proof that the methamphetamine belonged to another party, proof that the methamphetamine was planted, entrapment, and mental disease / defect are acceptable defenses.
High profile/government cases:
On April 28, 2014, police arrested Santos Salinas Jr. in North Elba for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree. The New York State Police Narcotics Enforcement Unit confirmed that he was found in possession of approximately 2 ounces of crystal methamphetamine. Salinas was arraigned at the Town of North Elba Court and remanded to Essex County Jail in lieu of a cash bail of $100,000 or a $200,000 bond.