Defense Lawyer in New York | FAQs About Marijuana Possession
Stuart Meltzer, an attorney practicing law in New York State since 1989 has represented thousands of people accused of crimes. He has extensive trial experience with both Felony and Misdemeanor cases. One of the most misunderstood laws in New York relates to possession of small amounts of Marihuana.
For a person arrested or given a summons to appear for possession of marihuana in New York
1. Is Marihuana legalized for recreational use in New York?
The answer is NO !
2. In New York Marihuana, Weed, blunts, vapo, ganja, whatever name you give to Cannibis Sativa is not legal for recreational use in New York State.
Marihuana is, in the discretion of the Court “decriminalized” for first time users of small amounts found in your possession. A person facing a Judge for a first time Marihuana possession offense may have their lawyer ask the Judge to grant you what is known as a Marihuana ‘ACD.” The term ACD is short for an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal.
The law which gives the Judge authority to grant a marihuana ACD is found in New York Criminal Procedure Law 170.56.
THE ‘INSIDE SCOOP’ OF A MARIHUANA ACD:
The ACD in New York DOES have consequences which are often not clearly articulated during the fast moving process of an arraignment or criminal appearance.
Some of the consequences of the ACD include the case remaining as an open case for one year. THE ACD IS AN OPEN CASE WHICH IS PUBLIC INFORMATION!
The marihuana ACD often has collateral consequences for:
a. the immigrant with outstanding immigration petitions pending and
b. the job applicant who is being subjected to a criminal background check.
Many jobs require that you report the arrest and employees may face termination due to such an open criminal case. c. Even college students and college applicants may face consequences to the Marihuana ACD.
d. Oftentimes a person will seek to bring a civil rights lawsuit against the law enforcement officer for being arrested for Marihuana which oftentimes belonged to someone else in the crowd in which they were standing. The ACD is NOT an acquittal. The ACD is not a criminal conviction. It is a legal limbo in which the case is simply placed on hold. If the person is not rearrested in the next year, the case is then dismissed and the record sealed (not expunged which is different than sealing).
Stuart Meltzer, Esq. can help those arrested for marihuana avoid the negative consequences related to arrests for small amounts of marijuana. Call our firm. Get the truth. You will be in experienced hands.