Many nonviolent drug offenses in New York are classified as misdemeanor crimes. The individual accused of breaking the law might face penalties that include incarceration or fines. However, misdemeanor criminal offenses often do not create the same burden that felony convictions might generate.
As a general rule, those convicted of a misdemeanor drug offense can often still move forward with many employment opportunities and their goals for higher education. A felony conviction, on the other hand, can drastically change what opportunities someone has in life.
One of the fastest ways for a New York prosecutor to turn what should be a misdemeanor possession offense into a serious felony is to claim that someone intended to sell the drugs in their possession to others. The following are some of the most common scenarios in which people may find themselves facing possession with intent charges in New York.
When they have a history of trafficking
Any prior criminal record might lead to the state more closely scrutinizing someone for any subsequent arrests related to controlled substances. There may be an assumption that someone intends to fall back into their old patterns of behavior even if they claim they possessed the drugs for personal use.
When someone has a lot of drugs
The overall amount of drugs can have a profound impact on how the state prosecutes a controlled substance offense. The larger the total weight of the drugs found in someone’s possession, the better the chances that the state may accuse them of possession with the intent to distribute those substances.
Sometimes, even a smaller total volume of drugs may lead to increased scrutiny because of a variety of different substances found in the possession of one person.
When someone has connections to the drug trade
An individual who lives with a known drug trafficker or associates with those who have been subject to prosecution or investigation for drug trafficking is likely at elevated risk of facing possession with intent charges.
Possession with intent in New York is typically classified as a felony offense regardless of the amount of drugs or the type of drugs involved. Understanding how the state handles more significant drug charges can make a big difference to those recently arrested in New York.