The average length of a sentence for drug possession on state charges is about 20 months, or a little less than two years. The average length of a sentence on federal charges is 81 months or less than 7 years. One reason for this difference is that more severe charges are more likely to be filed at the federal level. New York does not have a sixth degree felony
e) Subsequent conviction for the second degree felony within 5 years of a previous conviction for the crime.
Table 2 describes the different drug offenses and their penalties in New York. Sentences range from up to three months in prison for selling marijuana in the fifth degree to 20 years in prison for selling controlled substances in the first degree. Sale of marijuana other than the amounts specified in the fifth degree felony Committing manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree with a prior conviction of any degree of methamphetamine manufacturing offense. Those who fail to appear in court or fail drug tests are arrested and often given a short jail sentence.
In addition to mandatory minimum sentences, there are other factors that can determine penalties and sentences for drug possession. Federal lawmakers enacted mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for drug-related offenses in 1986 in an attempt to target high-level distributors, although they also affect those accused of lower-level drugs. The state allows probation or alternative or diversion sentencing for individuals facing their first prosecutions. When making a judgment, courts may consider aggravating or mitigating factors in any given case, such as the defendant's history and the amount and type of drug involved.
If found guilty of possession or distribution of a controlled substance, you could face an extended prison sentence and there could be other serious ramifications for participating in these activities that could affect you for the rest of your life. Those convicted of drug possession face a wide range of penalties at the time of sentencing, which vary from state to state. Possession of cocaine of less than 1 gram is a state jail felony that carries a prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years. For example, Kentucky, which has adopted similar mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, has some of the strictest provisions.
These fixed sentences are based on the type of drug, the weight of the drug, and the number of previous convictions. However, for first-time offenders, the sentence can be proven, which means probation rather than jail time. Veteran Houston drug defense attorney Neal Davis has helped many clients reduce their sentences on drug charges or even dismiss their case. Possessing 500 pounds or more of marijuana is classified as trafficking and is a class Y felony, punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.
Drug possession offenses are largely handled by states, with widely varying sentencing guidelines.