If you think being charged with UPM unlawful possession of marijuana or UPM NYS PL §221.05 violation is no big deal think again.
Under the NYS Penal Law a person may be charged with UPM or §221.05 unlawful possession of marijuana if s/he knowingly and unlawfully possesses marijuana.
It is my experience that a lot of people in New York mistakenly believe that marijuana possession has been “decriminalized” and that a violation ticket for this offense UPM is no big deal. I have often heard High School Students repeat this same falsehood. In reality, while a charge for UPM 221.05 unlawful possession of marijuana is a violation punishable only by a fine of up to $100.00, if the person was previously convicted in the past three years of any prior controlled substance act under Article 220 of the Penal Law, the fine rises to a maximum of $200.00 and for a third time offense in three years the sentence can be as much as $250.00 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 15 days in Jail.
Thus, up to 15 days imprisonment in the County Jail doesn’t sound too “decriminalized” to me.
It is due to the three strike stipulation in the law that this violation is not sealable, meaning a person convicted of this violation may have to report this conviction to certain job agencies and state licensing bureaus. In addition, a conviction for violation UPM unlawful possession of marijuana may prevent the applicant from obtaining federal financial aid for college.
Open possession of a small amount of marijuana in a public place, or concealed possession of more than 25 grams, (approximately .8 of an ounce) raises the offense to a UPM unlawful possession of marijuana B Misdemeanor a criminal charge that carries a sentence of up to three months incarceration and/or up to one year probation with substantial fines and a permanent criminal record.
For example, one lone marijuana joint in your pocket is a violation, but that same amount of marijuana held outside the pocket in open view is a criminal charge.
Selling even a minuscule amount of marijuana to your friend is also another way to take violation UPM unlawful marijuana possession into the Criminal B Misdemeanor genre. That is, under Penal Law 221.35 Criminal sale of marijuana in the fifth degree occurs when a person knowingly sells any preparation, compound, mixture or substances containing marijuana.
Note the words preparation, compound, mixture or substance in the statute are there to cover the recent upswing in various marijuana type products such as marijuana wax, oils, resins and any other variation of cannabis concentrates that may soon become popular. Regardless, possession of these substances is just as illegal as ordinary marijuana.
If you are charged with a crime such as UPM, unlawful possession of marijuana, Possession or any Marijuana related offense, or believe you may be the subject of an investigation, you need competent legal representation to protect your rights, answer your questions, and obtain the best possible outcome. Call my office today to schedule a free, in person confidential consultation.