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New York Penal Code 220.48: Criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child

May 1, 2017

The New York Penal Code provides for stiff sanctions for selling controlled substances generally. These sanctions are heightened when the perpetrator sells controlled substances to a minor.

The Elements of Criminal Sale of Controlled Substance to a Child

A criminal sale of controlled substance to a child or minor occurs when certain types of illegal drugs are sold to a person under the age of 17. The New York penal code includes a schedule of drugs that fall within the category of illegal for the purposes of the law prohibiting this type of sale to a minor.

The New York Penal Code classifies the criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child as a very serious crime. It is classified as a class B felony, one of the most serious types of crimes in the state.

Examples of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance to a Child

An example of criminal sale of a controlled substance would be a 30-year old man who sells cocaine to a 16-year old, the seller knowing that the buyer was under the age of 18. Another example would be a 22-year old woman who sells heroine to her cousin, the cousin being 17 years of age. The transaction would still run afoul of the law even if the person who sold the illegal substance provided a “price break” to her family member.

Sentence in a Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance to a Child Case

As was noted, the sale of a controlled substance to a child is a serious crime in the state of New York. If a person has no criminal record that includes a prior felony conviction, he or she faces a potential sentence between five and 25 years. If a person has a prior felony conviction, of any kind, he or she faces the prospect of a prison term of 10 to 15 years. The possibility also exists for the imposition of a fine up to $30,0000.

A person facing prosecution for this crime may actually face multiple charges. By this it is meant that the investigation of the case may have resulted in more than one charge for selling a controlled substance to a child or minor.

When it comes to sentencing, a judge would have discretion to sentence a defendant to concurrent terms of incarceration. That means that the sentences on all charges run together, at the same time.

However, a judge may also impose consecutive sentences, which can significantly lengthen a person’s time incarcerated. This would depend on the facts and circumstances of the case, and a person’s criminal background or history.

Defenses to Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance to a Child

Depending on the drug alleged to have been sold, the New York Penal Code may have a requirements that a minimum amount of the drug must be sold to sustain a charge. A defense in this type of case can be that the threshold amount of the drug in a particular transaction had not been satisfied.

The New York law on selling a controlled substance to a child requires that the same be made knowingly to a person under the age of 17. A viable defense can be that the person who allegedly sold the drug in question did not know the buyer was under the age of 17. As an aside, the defense requires an element of reasonableness. In other words, the person who allegedly sold the drug held a reasonable belief that the buyer was over 17 years of age.

An NYC criminal attorney can provide an overview of possible defenses in a particular case. Typically, a criminal defense lawyer will schedule an initial consultation at no charge to a potential client.

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