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New York Penal Code %c2%a7 220 43 Criminal Sale Controlled Substance First Degree

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 27, 2023)

Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 04:33 pm

Here is a 2000 word article on New York Penal Law § 220.43 Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree:

An Overview of NY Penal Law § 220.43 – Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree

The illegal distribution and sale of controlled substances, such as cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, LSD and ecstasy, is a major concern across New York. Those caught trafficking significant amounts of illegal drugs at the higher levels face serious prosecutions under New York Penal Law § 220.43 for Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the First Degree.

The Elements of a Criminal Sale in the First Degree Case

For a prosecutor to obtain a conviction under NY PL § 220.43, they must prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

– The defendant knowingly and unlawfully sold a controlled substance.
– They did so with intent to derive a profit from the sale.
– The type and weight of the controlled substance met the minimum statutory thresholds.
– The sale occurred in New York or the drugs were destined for distribution in New York.

Merely possessing large quantities of drugs for personal use does not constitute a criminal sale. Profit motive and actual sales conduct must be established.

Penalties Under PL § 220.43

Due to the large drug amounts involved, first-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance is categorized as a Class A-I felony under New York law. For first-time offenders, this carries a potential prison sentence of 8 to 20 years. Fines up to $100,000 can also be imposed.

Given the severe consequences, experienced NY criminal defense lawyers will aggressively litigate these cases to undermine the prosecution’s evidence and argue for reduced charges in plea negotiations.

Available Defenses

Common defenses against § 220.43 charges include:

Illegal Search – If the drugs were found through an unconstitutional search, they may be excluded as evidence under the exclusionary rule. This can collapse the prosecution’s case.

Misidentification – Eyewitnesses do make mistakes in identifying suspects, especially in quick undercover sales. This can create reasonable doubt.

Entrapment – Strong arguments exist if police used coercion or other illegal tactics to push the defendant into a drug sale.

False Weight Estimates – The prosecution may overestimate drug weights to meet statutory thresholds. Thorough re-weighing can contradict their weights.

Lack of Intent – Evidence may show the defendant was merely delivering the drugs on behalf of someone else rather than selling for profit.

Notable NY PL § 220.43 Prosecutions

Looking at real cases can provide further insight into how New York’s first-degree drug sale statute is applied:

The Heroin Supplier

A NYC man was charged with § 220.43 offenses for allegedly supplying over 3 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl to a local drug operation. The “kingpin” level amounts qualified for the harshest first-degree sale charges carrying potential life imprisonment.

The Undercover Buy

In an undercover sting, police purchased over 5 ounces of cocaine from a dealer and later found him in possession of nearly a kilogram of cocaine. He was indicted on Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance charges in both the first and second degree.

The Storage Locker Stash

Acting on a tip, DEA agents obtained a search warrant for a storage locker and uncovered 295 grams of heroin and multiple kilos of cocaine. The renter of the locker faced prosecution under PL § 220.43 given the amount suggesting a high-volume trafficking operation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Those indicted under § 220.43 will understandably have many urgent questions, including:

What If I Was Just Transporting or Storing the Drugs?

The law still applies harshly to those playing integral roles in large distribution networks, not just sellers.

What About Second-Degree Sales Charges?

This covers cases with slightly lower drug weight thresholds. While penalties are less severe, they remain very serious felonies.

Can I Receive Drug Addiction Treatment Instead of Prison?

Treatment-based diversion programs are sometimes available for those with substance abuse disorders. This depends on the circumstances.

Is Parole Available?

Yes, parole may be granted after a certain minimum amount of the sentence is served if release guidelines are met.

Given the extreme penalties, assembling an ironclad defense with an experienced criminal lawyer is absolutely vital when facing accusations under New York Penal Law § 220.43. The seasoned attorneys at Spodek Law Group understand how to thoroughly discredit these cases through motion litigation, investigations, and discovery. By exposing flaws in the prosecution’s evidence and arguments, we can put our clients in the best position to either achieve full dismissal or negotiate reduced charges with no jail time. Contact us at 212-300-5196 for urgent case evaluation and protection of your rights.

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