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May 3, 2017

New York Penal Code 220.55: Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree

New York Penal Law 220.55, or Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the First Degree, Is a class D felony. To be convicted, one must commit a crime of using drug paraphernalia in the second degree and have already been previously convicted of using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. This charge is usually, but not always, associated with another charge, such as using or selling drugs in the state of New York. Related drug paraphernalia is also against the law, and it is important for one0 to be in touch with a NYC criminal attorney if facing such a charge.

Being charged with using drug paraphernalia in the second degree requires the prosecutor to show that you possessed or sold various items with knowledge of their intended purpose. This can include diluents, dilutants, or adulterants used for altering the chemical compound of narcotics for sale or use. Drug paraphernalia that warrants a second-degree charge also includes any packaging products used for narcotics including capsules, vials, and glassine envelopes. Scales and balances used for measuring narcotics is another example of drug paraphernalia under the second-degree umbrella.

In order to face a charge, the prosecution must prove that the one in possession of these various types of paraphernalia knew they were used for the manufacture or sale of drugs.

There are several related offenses that are often seen in connection to NY Penal Code 220.55. The first is New York Penal Code 220.50: Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. As mentioned above, in order to be convicted of Criminally Using Drug Paraphernalia in the First Degree, one must have already be convicted of 22.50. The second related charge is New York Penal Code 220.60: Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances. It is possible to face charges of 220.55 and 220.60 concurrently. The third related offense is New York Penal Law 220.70: Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree. A conviction of 220.70 would result in the next related offense, New York Penal Law 220.71: Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree.

Example

If police entered one’s home with a legal search warrant and found a scale and a package of several dozen small Ziploc bags on the kitchen table, there would be an initial cause for alarm. However, the case would be furthered if upon continued search, police found a small box under one’s bed containing a narcotic substance, such as cocaine, inside several of the same Ziploc bags. Police could even measure out the small bags to be sure that each contained a specific quantity of cocaine. If the one in possession of the bags, scale, and cocaine had faced a previous conviction of criminally using during paraphernalia in the second degree, they would be arrested and charged with criminally using during paraphernalia in the first degree.

Defenses

The major defense against New York Penal Law 220.55 is possession of the various drug paraphernalia mentioned above for a use other than narcotic sale or manufacturing. For instance, many of the items that are banned in the state of New York may have other uses. A scale or balance is perhaps the best example of this, whereby one may use either of these in the kitchen to measure food for cooking. In addition, the gel capsules that are often associated with the production of narcotics may also be used for the production of perfectly legal pills, such as vitamins and natural medicine. The defense could prove that the one in possession of these items had no intention to sell or produce narcotics.

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888-977-6335

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