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220.48 Criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child

The New York Penal Code 220.48 provides for severe penalties to individuals who sell controlled substances to children. According to the penal code, a person is guilty of illegal sale of a controlled substance to a child if he deliberately and unlawfully sells a controlled substance to a person under the age 17.

Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance to a Child in New York

One is charged with criminal sale of a substance to a child when he knowingly sells certain types of drugs to someone who is below 17 years old. The substances may include drugs such as dangerous depressants, concentrated cannabis, methadone, ketamine, narcotic preparation, heroin, prescription drugs, cocaine and many others. The person may also be charged if he sells a controlled substance in violation of section 220.31 of the penal code, particularly when such sale takes place in an educational facility. In order to be convicted of this crime, the person selling the substance must be 18 years and above.

Example Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance to a Child

There are many possible case scenarios that can define criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child. For example, a 26-year old professional pharmacist who knowingly sells a drug to a customer who is 14 years old without a doctor’s prescription may be charged under this penal code. A 41-year old man who sells cannabis to a 15-year old person may also be charged if it is proven that he knew the person is not yet 17. The violation of the penal code would still be applicable if the people involved are related or if the person who sells the controlled substance provides a price break.

Possible Penalties

The New York Penal Code categorizes sale of a controlled substance to a child as a serious crime punishable by law. It falls under the category of class B felonies, which is one of the most serious crimes one can face in New York.

In most cases, the person guilty of the offense will face a minimum sentence of three years in prison. He may also face fines in place of or in addition to the prison sentence. Since the criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child is a non-violent felony, the prison sentence does not exceed 25 years. However, this depends on the person’s criminal history. If he has a previous conviction for a felony or a lesser crime, he may spend more years in prison. He may also face a fine up to $30,000.

Depending on the judge, the person prosecuted for criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child may actually face multiple charges. The investigations conducted by the police may reveal other crimes such as possession of illegal drugs or use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense. During sentencing, the judge may choose to make the sentences on all charges to run concurrently or impose consecutive sentences. This will depend on the facts surrounding the offense and the person’s criminal history.

Possible Defenses

The New York Penal Code has minimum requirements regarding the amount of drug that must be sold to sustain the charge. For example, one must sell ketamine that weighs more than 4,000 milligrams or a dangerous depressant that weighs more than two pounds. A person can create a defense if he proves beyond any reasonable doubts that the quantity of drug given to the child did not exceed the amounts prohibited by the law. The code also requires the substance to be sold to someone under the age of 17. A person can defend himself by denying any knowledge of the person’s age.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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