New York Penal Law 178.20: Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree

New York Penal Law 178.20: Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree

The New York Penal Code defines the criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree as the act of exchanging prescription medication or a prescription device for either money or some other benefit, with the full understanding that the recipient is not medically in need of it. Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree can also occur when someone purchases a prescription medication or device with the understanding that the person selling it does not actually have any legal authority to sell it.

Although there are many different degrees of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions, the main factor in determining which one a person is charged with is how much money was exchanged in the transaction. Under the New York Penal Code, a person can specifically be charged with criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree if the total value of their transaction is more than $3,000.

Examples of Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Second Degree

If someone is short on cash, so they decide to sell their prescription bottle of Adderrall for $4,000, then they could potentially be charged with criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree.

Alternatively, if a person decides to steal the bottle of prescription medication before selling it, then they could still be charged with criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree, as well as grand larceny.

Defending Against Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Second Degree

One of the most direct defenses against criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree is to prove that the total value of the goods involved was less than $3,000. Since criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree specifically hinges on the value of the medications being more than $3,000, then a NYC criminal lawyer could potentially get the charges dropped if the medications were known to be worth less.

Aside from the specific value of the medications, another notable defense is if the defendant was acting in good faith, either by purchasing medication for an actual medical condition, or in providing the medication to someone who they legitimately believed needed treatment.

Finally, a licensed physician or pharmacist can use their profession as a potential defense, if they providing the medication in accordance with their profession and were, again, acting in good faith.

Sentencing for Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Second Degree

Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree is considered to be a class D felony, which means anyone convicted of the charge can face up to seven years in prison. Aside from prison time, a person convicted of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree can also potentially face up to five years of probation and a sizeable fine.

Although criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree has serious consequences, that does not necessarily mean that a charge will lead to a conviction. With the right legal team, and the right defense, it is not impossible to overcome these charges. It is for this reason that anyone accused of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the second degree should immediately contact a legal representative to help handle their case.

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