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Court Decides if Marijuana Possession is a Serious Drug Offense Under ACCA


The government is appealing the sentence of only 55 months for the defendant for being a felon in the possession of a firearm. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the government challenges the determination from the Supreme Court that the defendant was not an armed career criminal. Furthermore, the government states that the prior convictions of the defendant for first degree possession of marijuana were serious drug offenses and should have been ruled as such by the court.

Court Discussion and Decision

The question before the court is whether or not the prior conviction of the defendant for marijuana possession in an amount that is more than for personal use is sufficient to be considered a serious drug offense as listed under the ACCA.

The law states that any defendant that is convicted more than three times on drug offenses must receive a sentence of at least 15 years.

A Suffolk County Criminal Lawyer said we have reviewed the previous records of offenses of the defendant and find that the district court was in error by determining that the marijuana possession charges were not serious drug offenses.

The sentence of the defendant is vacated and remanded to the court for further proceedings that are consistent with this finding.

If you need legal advice, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We have a number of different office locations in New York City for your convenience. You may call us at any time to set up an appointment for a free consultation with one of our qualified New York lawyers, whether you have been charged with drug possession, theft or sex crimes.

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