In this ongoing series of posts, we’ve been taking apart some of the complicated legalese that you’ll contend with when going through the New York penal law in order to get at the meaning behind some of the complicated language. We’ve covered topics such as larceny, robbery, and the like in the past, but today we’re going to move over into the realm of healthcare. These crimes are especially important to study, as improper use of medication can lead to a variety of problems and complications, and it’s best that we get a handle on what these crimes constitute so you can be better informed when it comes to potential legal defense or anything of that nature.
In this post, we’re specifically going to look into what the New York penal law has to say in regards to the crime of criminal diversion of prescription medications. As usual, we’re going to first lay out some definitions so that we know what we’re working with, then we’re going to follow it up with a description of the charges.
Now there are some limitations to this charge, of course. As far as that’s concerned, a licensed physician or someone else who’s authorized to issue a prescription is allowed to do this, or a licensed pharmacist who’s allowed to practice pharmacy, or someone who’s seeking treatment for a medical condition or helping someone else in their treatment. No provision that relates to the sale of a prescription medication is deemed to authorize certain acts.
This crime is charged when you commit a criminal diversion act and the value of the benefit is greater than $1,000, or you commit the crime of criminal diversion of prescription meds in the fourth degree, and you’ve previously been convicted of the same crime. Criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the third degree is a class E felony.
This charge is the same as the third degree charge, with the addition that the value of the benefit is greater than $3,000. This is a class D felony.
Finally, for the first degree charge, the value of the benefit exchanged has to be in excess of $50,000. This crime is considered a class C felony.
As you can see, while the study of these kinds of charges is very important, that doesn’t mean that the language involved in each of them need be difficult at all. Prescription medications are especially important to look at, as their effects can be quite strong, especially when used improperly. But as with any legal offense, you first need to understand the charges as well as the letter of the law before you can begin to address the problem and mount some sort of coherent defense on the issue. We hope this explanation has helped to tease out some of the meaning behind these often complicated terms and descriptions, and that it’s helped you understand a little better what charges of criminal diversion of prescription medications are.
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