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NYC Lawyers For Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions

New York has strong laws on the books when it comes to prescription drug fraud. Criminal diversion of prescription medications is something New York state law takes very seriously. This article should provide a starting point for educating yourself on this offense. Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions – which is covered under NY penal law section 178.10, 178.15, 178.20 and 178.25) can range in penalty from a “Class A” misdemeanor — which is punishable with up to one year in jail — or to a Class C felony – which is punishable with up to 15 years in a state prison.

In order to understand what you’re facing – when charged with Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions, you need to understand what the criminal diversion act is. Penal Law 178, a “criminal diversion act,” is an act where someone transfers, delivers, or receives, something of financial value in exchange for a prescription medication – or device, which the recipient has no medical need for, or prescription for. The statute is clear – that as long as one has reasonable grounds to understand the recipient didn’t need the medication – he shouldn’t have given it. Transferring, or receiving, in exchange for money – satisfies the “criminal diversion act,” component.

There are a few different degrees when it comes to criminal diversion of prescription medications.

Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications in the 4th Degree – NY PL 178.10
Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications in the 3rd Degree – NY PL 178.15
Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications in the 2nd Degree – NY PL 178.20
Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications in the 1st Degree – NY PL 178.25

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

Fourth Degree Diversion

You are guilty of Penal Law 178.10, if you commit a criminal diversion as listed above. This is a Class A Misdemeanor, and punishable by up to 1 year in jail.

Third Degree Diversion

You are guilty of Penal Law 178.15, when you commit a criminal diversion act. The value has to be greater than $1,000 from the act. If it’s less than $1,000 – and you were previously convicted in the 4th degree, then your new charge is bumped up to third degree. This is a Class E felony, and punishable by up to 4 years in prison.

Second Degree

A person guilty of Penal Law 178.15, is guilty of a Second Degree of criminal diversion act. The value of the fraud perpetrated must be greater than $3000. This is a D felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

First degree

A person is guilty of Penal Law 178.15 if the person commits a criminal diversion act of a value greater than $50,000. The crime is punishable by up to 15 years in a state prison.

What are the defenses

There are no cookie cutter criminal defense strategies to these charges. There are certain level facts, and points, which can be beneficial to your case. Certain points/elements can help mitigate your case, or have it dismissed. New York Penal Law sets forth possible defenses. For example, if you were a doctor and were authorized to administer the prescription, and you did it in good faith – with no malice intent, then you have a defense. If you are someone who has a condition, and were looking for treatment for that condition – and pursued that treatment in good faith – then you have a possible defense. As long as there is a legitimate or valid reason, you have a defense for mitigating and/or having the case dismissed.

Another possible defense is identifying what proof the prosecutor has. For example, videos, confessions, or the actual drugs themselves. If you were the victim of a sting operation, and were entrapped, or had the drugs planted on you – then this could be sufficient grounds to ask for a dismissal of charges or reduction. If the prosecutor doesn’t have the drugs you allegedly sold – then the prosecutors case is much weaker. There are numerous legal grounds, which can help improve your situations.

Often, Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication can also result in other charges such as grand larceny, health care fraud, insurance fraud, and criminal sale of a prescription of a controlled substance.

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