The state of New York has several laws that make it illegal to sell drugs. One of those is Penal Code 220.39, which is criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. There are certain criteria that can result in a person being arrested and charged with this crime.
What is Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree as Per New York’s Penal Code 220.39?
In order for a person to be charged and convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree in New York, they must knowingly and illegally have sold controlled substances. The following must be in place as well:
• The controlled substance is a narcotic drug
• The controlled substance is a stimulant that weighs at least one gram
• The controlled substance is lysergic acid diethylamide that weighs at least one milligram
• The controlled substance is a hallucinogen that weighs at least 25 milligrams
• The controlled substance is a hallucinogenic that weighs at least one gram
• The controlled substance is methadone that weighs at least one-eighth of an ounce
On top of all these specifics, a person can be charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree in New York if they sell narcotics to someone younger than 21, a stimulant, lysergic acid diethylamide, hallucinogen or hallucinogenic if they have a prior conviction for a drug-related crime.
It’s important to note that in the state of New York, the word “sell” has a relatively broad definition. For example, a person can sell controlled substance for money. However, selling can also include giving another person the controlled substance in exchange for goods or services. It can even include giving a controlled substance to another person or offering or agreeing to sell drugs. The person can also receive additional charges if drug paraphernalia was included with the drugs themselves.
Penalties and Sentences for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree Per New York’s Penal Code 220.39
In New York, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree is considered a class B felony, which means the individual convicted of this crime can face harsh penalties. A person can receive a prison sentence of up to 25 years. If there are no prior felony convictions, the individual would receive a minimum of five years in prison. However, with a prior felony conviction on one’s record, a person would receive at least 10 years in prison.
The person would also be responsible for paying a fine of a maximum of $30,000.
Possible Defenses for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree
One of the most common defenses that a criminal defense attorney can use in a case of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree is to argue that the amount of the drugs in question were less than the amount required as per the Penal Code. If the amount is less, the person could not be charged or convicted of the crime.
Another common defense would involve the defense attorney arguing that the police uncovered the drugs without probable cause or without a search warrant. If the police did not have probable cause to believe the individual committing a crime, or if they searched for drugs without a warrant, the case would be thrown out of court.
In New York, all drug offenses are considered serious. A person who is arrested for criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree can only benefit from speaking with a skilled criminal defense attorney at their earliest convenience. An attorney can help by building a strong defense for the case and can potentially get the charges against the person reduced or even dropped altogether.
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