Criminal Possession of Precursors of Controlled Substances

Few people would deny the scope or severity of the drug abuse epidemic, not just in New York, but throughout the country. In response to the societal harms that stem from the use of illegal substances, legislators have attempted to address the dilemma at its source by criminalizing possession of certain chemicals defined as precursors to the manufacture of dangerous drugs. Experienced drug attorneys have known this for years and if you are reading this webpage you may know firsthand the reality of these laws and crimes.

New York Drug Crimes and Laws

If you have been charged with Criminal Possession of Precursors of Controlled Substances, New York Penal Law 220.60 or Criminal Possession of Precursors of  Methamphetamine, New York Penal Law 220.72, it is important for you to understand the implications as well as your defense options.

Key Provisions of Statute Regarding Possession of Precursors

New York Penal Law 220.60 states that an individual has engaged in Criminal Possession of Precursors of Controlled Substances when, with the intention of unlawfully manufacturing a controlled substance, they simultaneously possess:

  • Carbamide/urea together with propanedioc and malonic acid or derivatives ergot or a derivative of ergot as well as diethylamine or dimethylformamide or diethylamide
  • Phenylacetone (1-phenyl-2 propanone) and hydroxyamine, ammonia, formamide, benzaldehyde, nitroethane, or methylamine
  • Pentazocine along with methyliodide
  • Phenylacetonitrile as well as dimethylaminoisopropyl chloride
  • Piperidine and cyclohexaone and bromobenzene and lithium or magnesium
  • 2, 5-dimethoxy benzaldehyde along with nitroethane and a reducing agent
Related Laws against Manufacturing Precursors

Because abuse of methamphetamine has skyrocketed so dramatically in recent years, legislators have also seen fit to specifically criminalize possession of precursors of this substance specifically, as evidenced by New York Penal Law 220.72, Criminal Possession of Precursors of Methamphetamine.

Chemicals falling into this category include lithium, acetone, toluene, pseudoephedrine, hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, red phosphorus and sulfuric acid. Many of these substances can be found within commonly used household products and are thus readily accessible by most everyone.

Ramifications of Convictions

Both of the offenses described above are classified as Class E felonies, indicative of the extreme seriousness with which the state treats conduct related to the manufacture and sale of controlled substances.

Those convicted of either of these crimes will be vulnerable from one to one and one half years of incarceration, costly monetary fines, and a potential period of probationary supervision lasting up to five years. Those with prior felony convictions from the previous ten years will also face mandatory sentencing enhancements.

Defenses against Violating New York Penal Law 220.60 or 220.72

Drug charges of any sort can leave defendants feeling panicked and perhaps even hopeless. However, in many cases, there are viable defense strategies a skilled attorney will bring to bear.

Because the prosecution must prove not only possession of prohibited precursors but also intent to manufacture a controlled substance, highlighting an absence of evidence of that intent is can be a winning tactic. Establishing a defendant's legitimate justification for possessing precursors can be enough to secure an acquittal or avoid prosecution.

Attacking the legality of the search warrant under which the substances were discovered or questioning the laboratory testing methods used to identify seized materials as being those forbidden by statute are other ways in which a defendant may be able to prevent conviction.

An experienced drug defense attorney will be able to explore the facts of each case to determine which techniques are likely to be most useful in obtaining a positive outcome.

Contacting an Attorney

If you are living under the cloud of a charge of criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances, the stress and uncertainty may feel unbearable. This is when the knowledgeable guidance and tactical insights of a seasoned drug defense lawyer are certain to prove invaluable, and the time to obtain such assistance is now.

Call the New York Drug Lawyers and Former Manhattan Prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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