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Q: New York City Violation - Summons for "Unlawful Possession of Marijuana" ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: New York City Violation - Summons for "Unlawful Possession of Marijuana"
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: sohonyc-ga
List Price: $5.50
Posted: 06 Aug 2006 19:41 PDT
Expires: 05 Sep 2006 19:41 PDT
Question ID: 753269
A friend and I received a summons here in New York City for "unlawful
posession of marijuana" (sec 221, sub 05) on Friday night. We were
smoking a joint, and the two cops who caught us confiscated it. It is
a FIRST violation for both of us, and we will plead no contest on the
day we have to show up at criminal court (346 Broadway).

According to NORML (,
because marijuana is decriminalized in New York, the first offense is
a CIVIL CITATION and the fine is $100. So first, I wanted to know if
that information is correct. If so, are there are any extra charges in
addition to the fine (ie, how much can we expect to pay)? Next, I'd
like to know if because it is a civil citation, if that will be on our
criminal records (neither of us even have a speeding ticket up until
now), or if it will somehow return to haunt us someday? Lastly, how
can I change the date of my court appearance as I will be unable to
make it?

Thank you.
Subject: Re: New York City Violation - Summons for "Unlawful Possession of Marijuana"
Answered By: tisme-ga on 06 Aug 2006 21:04 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello sohonyc-ga,

From Warren Redlich's website, a New York Marijuana Lawyer, it states:
"The most common charge we see is "Unlawful Possession of Marijuana"
(UPM - Penal Law 221.05) for possession of less than 25 grams (about
7/8 of an ounce) of marijuana. This is a violation - it is not a
crime. While the law does allow for jail time, you usually will pay a
fine of $100 plus a surcharge of another $100."

An easy to understand description of the penal law is available here: (It is in
Adobe format). I recommend that you read this.

There are no criminal charges for a first offense. "Unlawful
possession of marijuana (section 221.05 NYS Penal Law) is a violation,
resulting in a fine of not more than $200 for the first offense.
Additional violations result in larger fines and the imposition of
misdemeanor criminal charges, which include the establishment of a
permanent criminal record! Penalties are more stringent for other

The only time where it will return to haunt you is if it ever happens
again. There will not be a criminal record this time around.

To change the date of your court appearance, you need to contact the
Clerk's Office. The hours of operation are Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. except holidays. The phone number is: (646) 386-4511

All the best,


Search Strategy: 

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221.05 NYS Penal Law
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"unlawful possession of marijuana" new york
346 broadway new york court
sohonyc-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Fast, and answered everything in an orderly fashion. Thanks!

Subject: Re: New York City Violation - Summons for "Unlawful Possession of Marijuana"
From: bowler-ga on 07 Aug 2006 08:25 PDT
See everything will be OK.  Now just sit back, light up another joint
and relax! (But don't get caught)

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