During 2013, the NYPD has focused significant attention on drug possession and narcotics sales prior to concerts held in NYC. The criminal activity targeted includes possession of ecstasy (MDMA) by those waiting in line to get into the show as well as those observed in sales of cocaine to other concertgoers or undercover police officers. Those arrested who have prior records or active warrants can expect to spend a night in lockup, while those with clean records may be eligible for issuance of a desk appearance ticket (DAT). Generally those arrested for purchasing or possessing small amounts of drugs can expect to be charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the 7th Degree, PL 220.03, a Class A Misdemeanor.
A suspect alleged to possess greater weight may face felony charges. All sales of narcotics may trigger felony charges for the seller. While marijuana use may trigger probable cause for some narcotics arrests, the police appear to be more focused on apprehending sellers and possessors of illegal pills, ecstasy and cocaine. Those arrested who cannot afford an attorney will be assigned a lawyer by the court at arraignment, while those in a position to hire an attorney may wish to do so at the earliest opportunity to ensure their rights are zealously protected at all critical stages of the prosecution.