New York Drug Paraphernalia

Because of the magnitude of the drug problem in New York there are over 40 drug laws regulating drug use. While most of these laws focus on the possession and distribution of controlled substances and marijuana, there are other laws that tackle drug use by making it illegal to have items that are required for the manufacture, storage and distribution of controlled substances. This means that not only is it illegal to possess, sell or manufacture drugs, it is also illegal to have the equipment and substances necessary in order to sell these drugs. Such equipment is referred to as drug paraphernalia. These are items that people typically would only have because there were preparing to package drugs in order to distribute. Furthermore, if you are arrested on a drug paraphernalia charge, it is likely that you will be charged with other drug crimes such as drug possession or drug selling. If you have been charged with a drug paraphernalia crime, you should immediately contact an experienced New York drug crimes lawyer who understands the drug crime laws and who will aggressively defend you against these charges. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have decades of experience representing clients who have been charged with drug crimes and other serious crimes such as assault, domestic violence and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.

Drug paraphernalia offenses

There are 3 drug paraphernalia offenses under the controlled substances statute.

  • Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. You will face this charge if you have items used to dilute narcotics such as diluents, dilutants, and adulterants, items used for packaging such as gelatine capsules, other types of capsules, glassine envelopes, and vials, or equipment used to measure and weigh controlled substances such as scales and balances. It is a class A misdemeanor, with a possible penalty of up to a year in jail. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.50
  • Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree. You will face this charge if you commit criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree after having a prior conviction for that offense. It is a class D felony, with a possible penalty of up to 7 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.55
  • Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances. A precursor is a substance needed in order to manufacture a controlled substance. You will face a charge of criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances if you have any of the specifically listed substances and have an intent to use those substances to unlawfully manufacture controlled substances. It is a class E felony with a possible penalty of up to 4 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.60. Precursors include urea, ergot, ammonia, formamide, pentazocine, piperidine, and lithium.

Paraphernalia possession charges are often ancillary charges to more serious drug crime charges such as criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal sale of a controlled substance, or a methamphetamine manufacturing charge.

Possession of a controlled substance offenses

There are 6 offenses related to the possession of a controlled substance. They range from a misdemeanor charge to a class A-1 felony charge. The charges differ based on the type of controlled substance involved and in some cases the amount of the controlled substance. Drug possession offenses include.

  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree is the minimum criminal possession of a controlled substance charge you could face. It is a class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted, your sentence would be up to a year in jail. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.03
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree is the least serious possession of a controlled substance felony. You will face this charge if you have more than a specified minimum amount of certain drugs such as a narcotic preparation, PCP, concentrated preparation of cannabis, cocaine, or ketamine. This charge also makes it illegal to possess a controlled substance with the intent to sell it. It is a class D felony with a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.06
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree also specifies minimum amounts of certain drugs required to face this charge. The drugs include narcotic drug preparations, methamphetamine, narcotic preparations, stimulants, LSD, hallucinogens, hallucinogenic substances, a dangerous depressants, depressants, concentrated cannabis, PCP, methadone, ketamine, and GHB. It is a class C felony with a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.09
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree . The drugs at issue with this criminal possession charge include stimulants, hallucinogens, hallucinogenic substances, LSD, methamphetamine, narcotic drug preparations, and PCP. It also would be charge if you possess certain specified controlled substances with the intent to sell them. It is a class B felony with a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.16
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree . To face this charge you must possess a substantial amount of certain specified drugs, including narcotic drug preparations, methamphetamine, stimulants, lysergic acid diethylamide, hallucinogens, hallucinogenic substances, or methadone. It is a class A-II felony with a possible penalty of up to life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.18
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree is the most serious criminal possession charge. You will face this charge if you possess at least 8 ounces of narcotic drug preparations or at least 5,760 milligrams of methadone. It is a class A-I felony with a possible penalty of up to life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.21
Sale of a controlled substance offenses

If you have drug paraphernalia and also have controlled substances, law enforcement may conclude that you are in the business of drug distribution. Each drug selling crime is a felony. The charge you will face depends on the type of drug involved and the amount of the drug involved.

  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree. This is the least serious sale of a controlled substance charge and involves selling a narcotic, hallucinogenic or other controlled substance. It is a class D felony with a possible penalty of up to 7 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.31.
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. This crime involves selling a narcotic preparation. You will also face this charge if you sell certain specified amounts of dangerous depressants, depressants, concentrated cannabis, PCP, methadone, ketamine, or GHB. Furthermore, if you sell drugs at or near a school, school bus, day care, or educational facility, you will also be charged with this crime. It is a class C felony with a possible sentence of up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.34.
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree. You will face this charge if you sell a narcotic drug, or specified amounts of a stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, LSD, methamphetamine, or PCP. It is also the charge you will face if you sell a narcotic preparation to someone who is under 21 years old. It is a class B felony with a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.39
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree is one of the most serious drugs offenses. It involves selling a substantial amount of a narcotic drug preparation, methamphetamine, stimulant, LSD, hallucinogen, a hallucinogenic substance, or methadone. It is a class A-II felony with a possible sentence of up to life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.41
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree is also a very serious charge and if convicted you could go to prison for the rest of your life. It involves selling at least 2 ounces of a narcotic drug preparation or at least 2,880 milligrams of methadone. It is a class A-I felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.43
  • Operating as a major trafficker. This offense focuses not specifically on the amount of drugs sold, but on the amount of money made from being involved with selling drugs. You will face this charge if you are a director of an organization that sells of $75,000 worth of controlled substances in a 12 month period; if you are a director, manager or planner over the sale of least $75,000 worth of narcotics in a 6 month period; or if you are a director, manager or planner who possessed at least $75,000 worth of narcotics on at least 1 occasion in a 6 month period. It is a class A-1 felony with a possible sentence of life in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.77
Manufacturing methamphetamine offenses

Those who have drug paraphernalia tend to also be in the business of manufacturing drugs. The New York Penal Code has several offenses making it illegal to manufacture methamphetamine.

  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree. This charge involves having a precursor, chemical reagent or solvent with the intent to use it to make methamphetamine. It is a class A misdemeanor with a possible penalty of up to 1 year in jail. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.70. Precursors include ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, salt, isomer, salt of an isomer of these substances. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.00(16).
  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree. This charge is the same as the second degree charge, except that you have already been convicted of criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree in the prior 5 years and then commit the offense again. It is a class E felony with a possible sentence of up to 4 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.71
  • Criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine. You will face this charge if you possess precursors of methamphetamine as well as a solvent or chemical reagent with the intent to use them to make methamphetamine. It is a class E felony with a possible sentence of up to 4 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.72
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree . You will face this charge if you have both the necessary lab equipment and the substances necessary to make methamphetamine such as precursors, chemical reagents and solvents. It is a class D felony with a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.73
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree. This charge is the same as the third degree charge, except that the unlawful activity is done in the presence of a child who is under the age of 16 and you are at least 5 years older than the child, or you commit third degree manufacture of methamphetamine within 5 years of having been convicted of another methamphetamine offense. It is a class C felony with a possible penalty of up to 15 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.74
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree. You will face this charge if you commit unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree after having been convicted of unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree, unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree, or unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree within the prior 5 years. It is a class B felony with a possible sentence of up to 25 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.75
  • Unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material. Because the materials involved in making methamphetamine can be so dangerous, it is unlawful to dispose of methamphetamine laboratory material in a way that creates a health risk. It is a class E felony with a possible sentence of up to 4 years in prison. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.76
Penalties for drug crime convictions

A conviction for a crime related to drug paraphernalia or any other drug crime will likely involve spending some time in prison with the most serious offenses landing you in prison for decades. In determining your sentence the judge will consider not only the classification of the crime, but also your criminal history. If you are a first-time, non-violent offender your sentence will be less harsh than if you have prior convictions. In addition, if you commit a class B, C, D or E drug felony and also have a substance abuse problem, then you may be given the option of going to Drug Treatment Court. Upon successful completion of the Drug Treatment Court progra, the criminal charges against you may be reduced or dismissed.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are arrested for a drug paraphernalia charge, the possible penalty if convicted could involve incarceration. It is likely that if you are charged with a drug paraphernalia crime you will also face additional drug offense charges. Therefore, if you have been charged with any drug crime you should immediately contact an attorney who has experience defending those accused of offenses related to drugs. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of paraphernalia, possession, distribution and manufacturing offenses. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of drug crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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