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Successful NY Attorney Offers Criminal Defense & Counsel, as New York’s Marijuana Laws Undergo Sweeping New Changes

Changing Times, Changing Laws: One Attorney Makes a Difference

Hauppauge, NY, USA – WEBWIRE

The Law Offices of Jason Bassett, P.C. are expanding in order to take on new cases, and provide education to the community, and their clients, about New York’s changing marijuana laws. The newly implemented laws will affect future marijuana charges as well as past convictions related to the drug.

The previous and longstanding laws related to marijuana were comprised of two lower level offenses:

  1. Unlawful Possession of Marijuana under Penal Law Section 221.05 was considered to be a violation only, and under NY law a violation is not considered to be a crime, thus it does not sully offenders with a criminal record that hangs over them for life. This ‘violation’ typically resulted in a small fine and potentially up to 15 days in jail.
  2. Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth Degree under Penal Law Section 221.10, a more serious offense, was a class B misdemeanor and could have mandated 90 days in jail upon a conviction.

Under the newly revised NY laws, penalties have been reduced, and thus the legal options for client and counsel have been improved. The Law Offices of Jason Bassett, P.C. has made it a priority to educate the public about the new laws and offer services to anyone who has a current charge or recent conviction, as well as those who have been convicted in the past who seek expungement.

The revised NY law has changed the previous Unlawful Possession of Marijuana to, ‘Unlawful Possession of Marijuana in the Second Degree.’ The law still makes it a violation but the maximum fine is now only $50, regardless of an offender’s past convictions.

And Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the Fifth Degree has been changed to, ‘Unlawful Possession of Marijuana in the First Degree.’ IMPORTANT NOTE: The revision to the law has downgraded this offense from a misdemeanor to simply a violation, and thus it is no longer a ‘crime,’ and as such would not saddle an offender with a criminal record. Punishment fines for this offense will now only be $200, regardless of past convictions. Additionally, the law has changed how it views public smoking and possession, and has increased the possession amount needed to trigger a charge, up from 25 grams to now over one ounce.
Conviction for violation of either law will no longer put the offender in jeopardy of serving any jail time, no matter how many past convictions they have.
These sweeping marijuana law changes will be effective retroactively; therefore, all persons convicted of either of the two offenses in the past can now file a motion to vacate their conviction. Additionally, expungement—the destruction of one’s records of their past conviction and arrest—is now an option.

There are many nuances to the laws that you should consider if you have been charged with a marijuana offense, or if you were convicted of one recently or in the past. The Law Offices of Jason Bassett, P.C. will be happy to consult with you, to grasp how these new laws may affect you. Contact us today at: (631) 259-6060 for a consultation.


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