New York Drug Selling

Crimes related to drugs are a serious problem in New York. Law enforcement devotes a significant amount of money and manpower to apprehend, arrest and prosecute those who commit drug crimes. Of the 29 controlled substances crimes and 10 marijuana crimes, 13 relate to the sale of controlled substances or the sale of marijuana. Because New York has a very broad definition of the word "sell," it is not difficult to commit the crime of selling drugs. Selling does not only mean exchanging drugs for money. It also means exchanging drugs for something other than money. Furthermore, giving away drugs is also a form of selling drugs under New York law. Merely offering to or agreeing to sell, exchange or give away drugs is also included in the definition of selling. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.00(1). Being accused of selling or distributing drugs is a lot more serious than being charged with possessing drugs. A conviction on the most serious selling charge could land you prison for the rest of your life. For this reason, if you have been charged with distributing a controlled substance or marijuana, you should immediately contact an experienced New York drug crimes lawyer who will explain to you your legal options and work closely with you to develop strategies to 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.

Sale of a controlled substance offenses

Criminal sale of a controlled substance occurs when you unlawfully sell drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine, crack, anabolic steroids, heroin, GHB, PCP, LSD, methamphetamine and ecstasy. With certain controlled substances the more you sell the more serious the charge. For example, if you sell at least 50 milligrams of PCP you will be charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.34. However, if you sell 250 milligrams or more of PCP, you will be charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.39. The severity of the offense will also be raised if you sell the controlled substance at or near a school. For example, if you sell methadone you will be charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. However, if you sell methadone at or near a school, the charge will be the class B felony of criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.44. If you are a medical professional you can face a drug selling charge if you unlawfully sell a prescription. The charge is criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance, a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.65. The most serious drug selling crimes are class A felonies and could result in a life sentence. They include criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree, criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, and operating as major drug trafficker. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.77

The drug selling offenses related to controlled substances include:

  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree
  • Criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds
  • Use of a child to commit a controlled substance offense
  • Criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance
  • Operating as a major trafficker
Sale of marijuana offenses

Drug selling offenses related to marijuana are all based on the amount. For example, if you sell more than 25 grams of marijuana, you will face a charge of criminal possession of marijuana in the third degree. The most serious marijuana sale charge is criminal sale of marijuana in the first degree and involves selling more than 16 ounces. This is a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 221.30.

The drug selling offenses related to marijuana include:

  • Criminal sale of marijuana in the fifth degree
  • Criminal sale of marijuana in the fourth degree
  • Criminal sale of marijuana in the third degree
  • Criminal sale of marijuana in the second degree
  • Criminal sale of marijuana in the first degree
Offenses related to drug selling

In addition to selling, exchanging, or giving away drugs, there are other offenses that are related to the sale of drugs that you may face along with drug selling charges. Those who sell drugs often also possess drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia includes equipment that is typically used to manufacture, store or sell drugs. It includes substances and items used to mix drugs, package drugs, and weigh drugs. These charges include criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree, and criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances. The most severe charge is a class E felony.

Those who sell drugs are also often involved in manufacturing drugs, particularly if the drug is methamphetamine. Not only is methamphetamine dangerous and highly addictive when used, the manufacturing process is also very dangerous. Thus, there are several offenses meant to punish those who manufacture methamphetamine. Most involve having substances or equipment necessary to make methamphetamine. One offense, unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material, involves disposing of methamphetamine making substances in a manner that puts others at risk. It is a class E felony.

The drug selling offenses related to manufacturing methamphetamine include:

  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree
  • Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree
  • Criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree
  • Unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the first degree
  • Unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material
Penalties for drug distribution convictions

Most of the crimes related to drug selling are felonies. The penalties range from up to a year in jail to life in prison. While the classification of the crime as a class E, D, C, B or A felony will provide the parameters for sentencing, other factors such as your criminal history will factor into what your sentence will ultimately be.

An option that may be available to you is participating in an alternative sentencing program called Drug Treatment Court. In order to be eligible for this program you must have a substance abuse problem. Another requirement is that you have been charged with a class B, C, D, or E felony. If you are charged with a class A felony, you will probably not be given the option of Drug Treatment Court. In addition, if you have been convicted of a violent felony within the prior 10 years, you will not be offered the option of this alternative sentencing program. The advantage of Drug Treatment Court is that if you successfully complete the program, the judge presiding over you criminal case may dismiss the charges or lower them.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Being convicted of a drug selling or drug distribution crime is serious as the sentence that you face could be several years in prison, plus significant fines. For this reason it is critical that you are represented by an attorney who has experience representing those accused of drug crimes. The staff at Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been accused of drug selling, drug distribution, manufacturing drugs and other drug crimes. 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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