Penalties and consequences for drug-related felonies can range quite significantly. In general, much of what a conviction will mean for your future depends on your criminal history. If you have other convictions in your past, especially if they are felonies, you may face long-term imprisonment and higher fines. That said, even if you are a first-time offender, you may find that a conviction can seriously affect your near and long-term future.
New York minimum sentencing for all drug-related felony classes
New York felonies range from A through E in classification. A being the highest degree of felony and E being the lowest. Depending on the drug-related felony you are charged with, you may face one of the following sentences:
- Class A felony: Class A felony sentences can vary. A class A-I felony warrants a sentence of no less than eight years’ imprisonment and no more than twenty years’ imprisonment. A class A-II felony warrants a sentence of no less than three years’ imprisonment and no more than ten years’ imprisonment.
- Class B felony: No less than two years’ imprisonment and no more than twelve years’ imprisonment.
- Class C felony: No less than one and one-half years’ imprisonment and no more than eight years’ imprisonment.
- Class D felony: No less than one and one-half years’ imprisonment and no more than four years’ imprisonment.
- Class E felony: No less than one and one-half years’ imprisonment and no more than two years’ imprisonment.
Collateral consequences for a felony conviction
There are privileges you may also lose if the court convicts you of a felony offense. You lose your right to vote, for example, as you serve a prison sentence and a parole sentence. If convicted of drug possession, you will also lose eligibility for federal student aid. First-time offenders lose their eligibility for one year and third-time offenders lose financial aid eligibility for life. Additionally, if you are in a job that requires a certain license, it is possible your conviction will result in the revocation of that license or a lengthy suspension.