Criminal Diversion Of Prescription Medication And Prescriptions In The First Degree: NY Penal Law § 178.25

by ECL Writer
Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the fourth degree

Criminal diversion is the act of transferring a prescription medication or device for financial gain or other advantages, knowing that the recipient lacks a legitimate medical need, or acquiring a prescription medication or device with awareness that the seller lacks the legal authority to sell it. In the New York criminal code, there are four distinct offenses associated with criminal diversion, categorized as first, second, third, and fourth-degree criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions. The specific charge of criminal diversion you may face hinges on the monetary value or benefit exchanged for the prescription drugs or device. The most severe of these offenses is criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the first degree, as defined by New York Penal Law § 178.25, which applies when the value of the medication or devices involved exceeds $50,000.

Sentence

Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the first degree is classified as a Class C felony. If found guilty, potential penalties may encompass a maximum prison sentence of 15 years, a probation period lasting up to 5 years, and a significant monetary fine.

Defenses

There are three established legal defenses against a charge of criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions:

  • If you are a licensed physician, you can assert that you dispensed the prescription medication or devices in good faith as part of your lawful professional practice.
  • If you hold a valid pharmacist’s license, you can argue that you dispensed the prescription medication or devices in good faith within the scope of your lawful profession.
  • If you were seeking medical treatment for a personal health condition or assisting someone in need of medical care, this can serve as a defense.

Furthermore, for a conviction of criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the third degree, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the medications’ total value exceeds $50,000. If there is evidence indicating a lesser value, it may provide a basis to challenge the charge successfully. However, it’s important to note that you may still face charges of criminal diversion of prescription medications in the second, third, or fourth degrees depending on the circumstances.

New York Penal Law § 178.25: Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the First Degree

An individual is deemed to have committed criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the first degree when they engage in a criminal diversion act, and the value of the benefit exchanged exceeds fifty thousand dollars.

Related Offenses

Hiring A New York Lawyer

When facing charges of Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the First Degree in New York, hiring a skilled lawyer is paramount. This complex legal matter demands expertise in pharmaceutical regulations, criminal law, and a deep understanding of the state’s legal system. A New York lawyer with experience in drug-related cases can provide invaluable guidance. They’ll scrutinize evidence, assess the strength of the prosecution’s case, and craft a robust defense strategy. Whether negotiating a plea deal or representing you in court, their knowledge and advocacy can make a critical difference in protecting your rights and securing the best possible outcome.

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