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New York Penal Law 178.15: Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree

May 4, 2017 New York Penal Code

Criminal diversion is defined in the New York Penal Code as the transfer of a prescription medication in exchange for money. A medical device can also be the subject of the transfer under the law.

The transfer of the prescription must be made by a person who lacks authority to make that time of exchange. In addition, the transfer must be made to a person who lacks a medical need for the prescription or medical device.

There are four types of criminal diversion laws contained in the New York penal code. These include criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree.

Elements of Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Third Degree

In order to be charged with criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree, a prescription medication must be sold and transferred to a person who does not medically need the drug, by a person without authority to sell it. In addition, the value of the medication, or medical device, must be of $1,000 or more.

A person may also face a charge of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree through a second avenue. If a person has been convicted of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the past, and faces a new charge of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the fourth degree, the new charge can be enhanced to the more serious criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree.

Example of Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Third Degree

An example of an exchange that could result in a charge of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree involves a man names Pedro. Pedro sells an envelop full of medications to Sally, the value of the medications being about $2,000. Cash exchanged hands.

Because the medication has a value of over $1,000, a case of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree can be brought under these circumstances.

Sentence for Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Third Degree

Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree is a class E felony. As a result of the classification of criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree, a person found guilty of the crime faces the possibility of a prison sentence of four years. He or she may also be sentenced to a term of probation for five years. A court may also elect to impose a fine in a criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree case.

Defenses to Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medication and Prescriptions in the Third Degree

One possible defense to criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree is that the so-called seller was a licenses physician or pharmacist. If the transfer was made in good faith by a physician or pharmacist, a valid defense to the crime may exist.

A NYC criminal lawyer can develop other defense strategies in a criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree case, as the facts permit. The first step in retaining legal representation in a criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree case is scheduling an initial consultation with legal counsel.

During an initial consultation a lawyer provides a case overview and associated evaluation. In addition, legal counsel will respond to any questions about a case. There typically is no charge for an initial consultation with an attorney in a criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the third degree case.

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