What is criminal possession in the seventh degree?

On Behalf of | Apr 28, 2022 | Uncategorized

When it comes to drug crimes in New York, there is a range of potential charges you could face. Even narrowing it down to possession does not give you a definitive offense.

You want to be sure that you understand the charge against you. One potential option the prosecutor could use is criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. The New York State Senate explains that this drug offense has many exceptions that you want to be aware of.

Basic charge

An officer may arrest you if you possess a controlled substance without legal reasons to do so. However, there are circumstances where you could avoid a conviction.


The law does require you to possess more than a residual amount of the substance. Even if you have some trace of the drugs on a needle or syringe, it will not count unless there is a measurable amount.

You cannot face this possession charge if the discovery of the drug came about when you were seeking health care. This includes getting medical help for yourself or someone else. This is an important exception to note. The reasoning behind it is to help prevent people from avoiding medical care in an emergency situation because they fear prosecution. For example, you may worry about calling emergency services for a friend who is suffering from an overdose because there are drugs at the location. Because of this exception, you should not face an arrest if you seek help in this scenario.

The charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree is a class A misdemeanor. Though not a felony, the consequences can still impact your life.