LaGuardia Airport (LGA) Arrests

The number of arrests made at LaGuardia Airport (LGA) in New York have greatly increased since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Since law enforcement officers take a zero-tolerance policy on offenses committed in airports, a mistake made by a traveler can result in an arrest at the airport.

An arrest at LaGuardia Airport in New York can lead to charges for felony or misdemeanor offenses, which can cause serious consequences such as jail or prison sentences, probation, or fines. After an arrest at LaGuardia airport, even someone with no prior record might be arrested, handcuffed, and driven in a police car to Queens Central Booking, where they are detained up to 24 hours before being released.

Even if you were not arrested, an allegation that you carried a large amount of money involved in drug trafficking or money laundering might lead to a federal agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized your money at the airport. Rochelle Berliner is experienced in helping clients get seized money back quickly after a seizure for forfeiture action in state or federal court.

Read more about seizures of money by Homeland Security at the LaGuardia (LGA) airport in Queens.

Attorney for an Arrest at the LaGuardia Airport in New York

Obtaining an experienced criminal defense lawyer is important to defending the criminal charges against you by all means possible. An attorney can help you secure the names and addresses of relevant witnesses and obtain video from security cameras in the terminals, at the drop-off or pick up areas, or in the parking lots before they are destroyed or erased.

Contact the Law Office if you have been arrested for an offense at LaGuardia Airport in Queens County, New York.

Rochelle S. Berliner is dedicated to fighting the charges against you, and will make every effort to help you avoid the most severe penalties and punishments. We are familiar with the tactics used by officers with the Port Authority Police Department at LaGuardia Airport, and federal law enforcement officers.

Call the Law Office at for a consultation about your airport arrest in New York.

Back to Top

LaGuardia Airport Arrest Information Center

Back to Top

Types of Arrests Commonly Made at New York Airports

The most common arrests made at LaGuardia Airport in Queens include the following:

  • Possession of a concealed weapon including a firearm (gun) or knife;
  • Possession of an unlicensed weapon or other charges related to violating New York's gun regulations;
  • Disorderly conduct or intoxication;
  • Crimes of violence such as assault, battery or resisting a police officer;
  • Trespass or causing a security breach at New York area airports;
  • Disruptive behavior and endangering an aircraft upon takeoff or landing;
  • Interfering with the flight crew; or
  • Felony possession of illegal narcotics including prescription medication not in a properly labeled prescription pill bottles or controlled substances such as cocaine.


Back to Top

Possession of a Weapon at LaGuardia Airport

The state of New York has strict gun regulation laws and a zero-tolerance policy at the airport that results in catching many unsuspecting visitors off guard.

In fact, many of the individuals arrested are first detained because they tell an airline employee at the ticket counter about the firearm being properly secured in their checked luggage. In most of those cases, the firearm is properly licensed and registered in the individual's home state.

An arrest can result in the person being taken to Queens Central Booking. Many firearms charges are funneled into a special Gun Court set up for cases in Queens County. Brooklyn in Kings County also has a similar Gun Court division.

Back to Top

Possession of Marijuana at LaGuardia Airport

Marijuana possession charges at LaGuardia Airport often arise from a small amount discovered through a routine and random search of a person or their luggage.

When the possession of marihuana or marijuana is not in plain view and involves less than 25 grams, the offense is usually charged as Unlawful Possession of Marihuana under N.Y. Penal Law § 221.05.

The offense is considered a violation, and a $100 fine can be imposed for an initial offense and a $200 fine on a second violation. A third or subsequent offense carries a penalty of up to15 days in jail.

A small amount of marihuana, or marijuana, possessed in an area that is "open to public view,” including any area in LaGuardia Airport, can lead to a B Misdemeanor charge of Criminal Possession of Marihuana in the Fifth Degree under N.Y. Penal Law § 221.10(1).

A person can also be charged under N.Y. Penal Law § 221.10(2) for this offense if they possess more than 25 grams of marihuana. Many law enforcement officials refer to this offense as "CPM." This misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to ninety days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Back to Top

Possession of Narcotics and Illegal Drugs at LaGuardia Airport

LaGuardia Airport has security checkpoints operated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that allow searches and detentions of your luggage and body. These searches can often lead to finding illegal drugs.

Illegal drugs that are often found at LaGuardia Airport include ecstasy, cocaine, meth, methamphetamines, heroin, methadone, MDMA, “bath salts,” LSD, PCP, Xanax, Valium, chemicals, crack, psychedelic mushrooms, shrooms, hydrocodone, codeine, and prescription pills without a prescription.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance arising from a New York airport arrest can lead to either a misdemeanor or felony charges. Misdemeanor controlled substance possession charges are in the 7th degree and can result from any amount of a drug present, including residue of the drug.

Felony controlled substances possession charges from an arrest at LaGuardia can be in the 5th, 4th, 3rd, 2nd, or 1st degree depending on the type and amount of controlled substance. Read more about illegal drug possession in New York and the penalties for controlled substance charges.

Back to top

Additional Resources

LaGuardia Airport – This website offers information about LaGuardia Airport (LGA), one of New York’s major commercial airports. LaGuardia is run and operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. This site has information on flight schedules and statuses, a history of the airport, and other airport facts and information. The airport is located at:

LaGuardia Airport
10205 Ditmars Blvd.
East Elmhurst, New York 11369

Back to Top

Law Office | LaGuardia Arrest Lawyer

If you have been charged with being in possession of an illegal firearm, marijuana or other drugs at the LaGuardia (LGA) Airport, call the Law Office at or send an online message. Rochelle Berliner also represents clients accused of crimes or arrested at JFK International Airport in Queens County,

Rochelle S. Berliner is knowledgeable in all areas of New York's laws. She is dedicated to helping you find defenses or mitigating factors that will reduce your airport charge or dismiss it altogether. Contact the Law Office today for a consultation about your arrest in New York airports.

This article was last updated on Thursday, October 8, 2020.