NY Penal Law § 220.16: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third-degree

by ECL Writer
NY Penal Law § 220.16: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree

In the complex landscape of New York’s legal system, there exists a web of statutes aimed at regulating the possession and distribution of controlled substances. Among them, NY Penal Law § 220.16 stands as a significant pillar in the state’s efforts to combat drug-related crimes. This statute addresses the offence of “Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree,” a charge that can carry severe consequences for those found guilty.

Controlled substances, including drugs such as narcotics and prescription medications, play a central role in NY Penal Law § 220.16. This statute seeks to define the parameters of what constitutes criminal possession of these substances in the third degree, taking into account factors like the type and quantity of the substance involved, as well as the individual’s intent.

In this article, eastcoastlaws.com will delve into the intricacies of NY Penal Law § 220.16, exploring its key elements, potential penalties, and the broader implications it has on the criminal justice system in New York. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of this statute, individuals can navigate the legal landscape more effectively and make informed decisions when it comes to controlled substances.

As you mentioned, to be charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree in New York, the following elements typically need to be met:

  1. Knowingly and unlawfully possessing drugs, narcotics, or specified amounts of specific controlled substances.
  2. For certain substances, the intent to sell is required, while for others, possession alone is enough to face charges.
  3. The location of the drugs may vary; they don’t necessarily need to be found on your person but could be in a place you control, such as your car or home.
  4. You must have known about the presence of the drugs.

The specific substances and amounts that qualify for charges under this statute can vary, so it’s crucial to consult the New York Penal Code or seek legal counsel for precise information regarding which substances and quantities are covered.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges related to controlled substances, it’s essential to consult with an experienced criminal defence attorney in New York who can provide guidance and representation based on the specific circumstances of the case. They can help navigate the legal process and protect your rights.

Example

A security guard at a shopping mall notices a person acting suspiciously near the entrance. The person is seen on security cameras stealing small items from various stores. The security guard approaches the individual and apprehends them. Upon searching the person’s bag, the security guard discovers stolen jewellery, electronics, and clothing. The security guard detains the individual and contacts the police. If the total value of the stolen items meets the criteria outlined in the law, the individual could be charged with felony theft or shoplifting, which carries severe penalties.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third-degree Defenses

You can contest the charge based on the quantity of drugs discovered in the incident if you are arrested for criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. The prosecution will be forced to drop the accusation if there is less drug present than what is needed by the law.

Another argument would criticize how the drugs were located by the cops. Police must have a reason to believe they can conduct a search before they do so. Drugs found during a search that was illegal would not be admissible in court, and your case would probably be dismissed.

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third-degree Sentence

Third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance falls within the category of a class B felony. This means that you could receive a sentence of up to 25 years in jail if you are found guilty. If you have never been convicted of a felony, your minimum prison term will be 5 years; if you have, your minimum prison term will be 10 years. Additionally, a fine of up to $30,000 can be imposed upon you.

New York Penal Code § 220.16: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree

If someone has one of the following substances inadvertently and with knowledge, they are in third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

  • Possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell it.
  • Possession of a stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) with intent to sell it, and having a previous conviction related to controlled substance offences.
  • Possession of a stimulant with the intent to sell it, where the stimulant weighs one gram or more.
  • Possession of LSD with the intent to sell it, where the LSD weighs one milligram or more.
  • Possession of a hallucinogen with the intent to sell it, where the hallucinogen weighs twenty-five milligrams or more.
  • Possession of a hallucinogenic substance with the intent to sell it, where the substance weighs one gram or more.
  • Possession of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing methamphetamine with the intent to sell them, and the aggregate weight is one-eighth ounce or more.
  • Possession of a stimulant, where the stimulant weighs five grams or more.
  • Possession of LSD, where the LSD weighs five milligrams or more.
  • Possession of a hallucinogen, where the hallucinogen weighs one hundred twenty-five milligrams or more.
  • Possession of a hallucinogenic substance, where the substance weighs five grams or more.
  • Possession of one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures, or substances containing a narcotic drug with an aggregate weight of one-half ounce or more.
  • Possession of phencyclidine (PCP), where the PCP weighs one thousand two hundred fifty milligrams or more.

In each of these scenarios, the person must have the intent to sell the controlled substance in question to be charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. The specific weight thresholds and types of controlled substances involved determine the severity of the offence and potential penalties. These laws may vary by jurisdiction, so it’s essential to consult the relevant state or federal statutes for precise information on controlled substance offences in a specific area.

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