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New York Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance Crimes

New York State law restricts the controlled substances people can possess and sell. The law categorizes different schedules of drugs, based on the use and possible dangers associated with each substance. If you are facing accusations of selling controlled substances, it may be critical to contact a skilled drug possession with intent to distribute lawyer. An attorney can clarify what you may be up against with the New York criminal sale of a controlled substance crimes.

Classifying Illegal Substances

Opiates are Schedule I drugs because of the high potential risk for addiction. While many controlled substances are actually legal under certain circumstances (purchasing a controlled substance with a valid prescription, for example), it is illegal to sell controlled substances without a pharmaceutical license.

Those found selling controlled substances on the street will face a criminal sale of a controlled substance charge. Generally, when the sale involves cocaine, heroin or the “harsher” drugs, this crime is Third Degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance pursuant to New York Penal law 220.39. However, it is a felony to sell even “lesser” prescription drugs such as Adderall.

The New York Penal Law considers selling and distributing controlled substances more serious than simply possessing those drugs outside of those circumstances that eclipse certain weight thresholds and where prosecutors can prove an intent to sell. Even the least serious criminal sale charge is a felony. This means anyone convicted of the charge will likely face years in state prison.

Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance Charges

Those accused of knowingly and unlawfully selling controlled substances will face a criminal sale charge.

  • First Degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance: NY PL 220.43
  • Second Degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance: NY PL 220.41
  • Third Degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance: NY PL 220.39
  • Fourth Degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance: NY PL 220.34
  • Fifth Degree Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance: NY PL 220.31

There are five degrees of the criminal sale of a controlled substance charge, ranging from the fifth degree to the first degree. The exact type and amount of drug allegedly involved will dictate how serious the charge is.

Someone who unlawfully sells methadone weighing under three hundred sixty milligrams would likely face a fourth degree charge, which is a Class C felony. However, someone selling two ounces or more of heroin would face the more serious first degree charge, which is an A-I felony. Again, remember that any sale of any controlled substance is a felony regardless of weight.

Conviction Penalties

The penalties upon conviction for criminal sale of a controlled substance vary quite a bit, from seven years in prison for criminal sale in the fifth degree to a life sentence for criminal sale in the first degree.

Because penalties vary so much, it is important that anyone facing these charges contact a New York criminal defense lawyer for help. A criminal sale of a controlled substance defense attorney can investigate the facts of the case independently, and use that information to fight for reduced or dismissed charges when possible.

Related Drug Trafficking Charges in New York

Both state and federal law prohibit drug trafficking, and prescribe stiff penalties for those convicted of this crime. Drug trafficking occurs when someone sells large volumes of controlled substances, typically across geographic borders. When someone traffics within New York, they could face state charges.

If someone traffics controlled substances across state borders, they will likely face federal charges. Regardless of which jurisdiction someone is charged in, a drug trafficking conviction can result in a long prison sentence and high fines.

The amount of drugs allegedly involved in the sale will determine whether the accused faces a criminal sale of a controlled substance charge, or a more serious drug trafficking charge. A New York drug crimes defense lawyer can help those facing a criminal sale or trafficking charge.

Help from an Attorney

Are you facing New York criminal sale of a controlled substance crimes? Are you facing a state or federal drug trafficking charge? Either way, a New York drug defense lawyer can help. Was there an illegal stop and frisk or improperly executed search warrant? What direct evidence exists that you in fact sold a particular drug and is it admissible at trial? Do not delay; call an experienced New York criminal defense attorney today to discuss your case in more detail.

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

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