New York Drug Manufacturing Laws and Penalties
New York has strict laws prohibiting the illegal manufacturing of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other drugs. Manufacturing controlled substances is prosecuted aggressively, and convictions can lead to years in prison as well as large fines. This article provides an overview of New York’s drug manufacturing laws, penalties, and defenses.
What is Drug Manufacturing?
Drug manufacturing refers to the process of synthesizing, preparing, propagating, compounding, converting, or processing a controlled substance. This includes packaging or repackaging controlled substances as well as labeling or relabeling the drug’s container.
Manufacturing also includes producing, preparing, or processing methamphetamine. Specific charges related to methamphetamine manufacturing are discussed in more detail later in this article.
Criminal Possession of Precursors of Controlled Substances (PL 220.60)
It is illegal in New York to possess certain chemicals, known as “precursors,” with the intent to unlawfully manufacture controlled substances. Under Penal Law 220.60, criminal possession of precursors involves possessing at the same time:
- Carbamide (urea) and propanedioc and malonic acid or derivatives
- Ergot or an ergot derivative plus diethylamine, dimethylformamide, or diethylamide
- Phenylacetone and hydroxylamine, ammonia, formamide, benzaldehyde, nitroethane, or methylamine
- Pentazocine and methyliodide
Possessing these chemicals together indicates intent to manufacture controlled substances like LSD or methamphetamine.
Criminal possession of precursors is a class E felony punishable by up to 4 years in prison.
Criminal Possession of Methamphetamine Manufacturing Material (PL 220.70 – 220.71)
New York has specific statutes prohibiting the possession of chemicals and equipment used to manufacture methamphetamine, a highly addictive stimulant.
Under PL 220.70, possessing a precursor, chemical reagent, or solvent with intent to unlawfully manufacture methamphetamine is criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor.
PL 220.71 elevates this to a class E felony if the person possesses:
- Two or more items of laboratory equipment and two or more precursors, chemical reagents, or solvents
- One item of lab equipment and three or more precursors, reagents, or solvents
- A precursor mixed with a reagent or solvent, or two or more reagents/solvents mixed together
AND the person has a prior conviction for methamphetamine manufacturing within the past 5 years.
Criminal Possession of Precursors of Methamphetamine (PL 220.72)
Possessing a precursor and a solvent or chemical reagent with intent to unlawfully manufacture methamphetamine is criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine under PL 220.72, a class E felony.
Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine (PL 220.73 – 220.75)
There are also several offenses involving the actual production of methamphetamine:
- PL 220.73 – Possessing lab equipment and precursors, chemical reagents, or solvents with intent to manufacture methamphetamine is unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree, a class D felony
- PL 220.74 – Committing third-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine after a previous conviction for methamphetamine manufacturing within 5 years elevates the crime to second-degree, a class C felony
- PL 220.75 – Committing second-degree unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine after a previous conviction for methamphetamine manufacturing within 5 years is first-degree unlawful manufacture, a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison
Penalties for Drug Manufacturing in New York
The penalties for manufacturing controlled substances depend on the specific drug, amount manufactured, and the defendant’s criminal history. Some examples of potential sentences include:
- Manufacturing less than 1/8 ounce of a stimulant like cocaine or methamphetamine – Class D felony, up to 7 years
- Manufacturing 1/8 to 4 ounces of a stimulant – Class C felony, up to 15 years
- Manufacturing over 4 ounces of a stimulant – Class B felony, up to 25 years
- Manufacturing phencyclidine – Class D felony up to 7 years (any amount)
- Manufacturing LSD – Class D felony up to 7 years (any amount)
Penalties are even more severe for second and third convictions for drug manufacturing.
Fines up to $100,000 can also be imposed for felony drug manufacturing.
Defenses to Drug Manufacturing Charges
There are several possible defenses if you have been accused of manufacturing controlled substances in New York:
- Lack of intent – The prosecution must prove you intended to unlawfully manufacture drugs. For example, if you possessed precursors for lawful purposes like medical research, you may not have criminal intent.
- No manufacturing occurred – If you only possessed precursors or equipment but did not actually manufacture drugs, you may be able to fight the charges.
- Lack of knowledge – You can argue you did not know the chemicals you possessed were drug precursors or that equipment would be used to manufacture drugs illegally.
- Entrapment – If you were induced by police to commit the crime, when you otherwise would not have, an entrapment defense may apply.
An experienced New York drug crimes defense attorney can evaluate the details of your case and decide how best to build your defense.
Federal Drug Manufacturing Charges
In addition to New York charges, the federal government also prosecutes drug manufacturing under the Controlled Substances Act. Federal penalties are strict, carrying up to life in prison depending on the drug and quantity.
Some federal drug manufacturing charges include:
- 21 USC 841 – Manufacturing controlled substances like heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and others
- 21 USC 843 – Illegally manufacturing prescription drugs
- 21 USC 960 – Importing or exporting controlled substances
The federal sentencing guidelines take into account the drug amount and other factors when determining potential prison time. Those convicted often face 10 years or more in federal prison.
Finding the Right Drug Manufacturing Lawyer
Facing drug manufacturing charges in New York can be overwhelming. But an experienced criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights, build the strongest defense for your case, and try to minimize penalties if convicted.
Be sure to choose a lawyer with extensive experience specifically handling drug crimes like manufacturing. Do not take chances with your freedom – consult with a top drug defense attorney as soon as possible after being arrested. With an aggressive legal advocate on your side, you can ensure your rights are protected throughout the criminal justice process.