New York Intent To Distribute

Drug possession is considered a serious crime in New York. However, drug distribution is even more serious. Drug distribution is the crime of selling drugs-- being a drug dealer. If you are found with a small amount of drugs in your possession, law enforcement will conclude that you probably have the drugs for your personal use, and you will face a drug possession charge. However, if you are found with a large amount of drugs, law enforcement will become suspicious that you are really in the business of distributing drugs. You will face not a drug possession charge, but a possession with the intent to distribute charge as well as a drug selling. In addition, if you are caught selling drugs, law enforcement will couple a drug selling charge with an intent to sell charge. This is significant because if you are convicted your sentence will be based on 2 felony drug convictions. If you have been charged with possession with the intent to distribute or any other drug crime, do not hesitate to contact a knowledgeable New York drug crimes lawyer who will carefully review the details of your case, explain to you your legal options and work closely with you to vigorously 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 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.

Intent to sell charge

Under the New York law intent to sell is a type of criminal possession of a controlled substance offense as follows. You can be charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance if you are found to have a controlled substance and intend to sell it. Intent to sell can be gleaned from the amount of drug you possess or from you actually selling the drug. For certain drugs the intent charge is tied to the amount of drug you have, while in other cases it is the charge you will face based on selling or intending to sell any amount.

  • Any amount of a controlled substance
  • Any amount of a narcotic drug
  • Any amount of a stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or lysergic acid diethylamide, if you have a prior conviction of a controlled substance crime
  • 1 gram or more of a stimulant
  • 1 milligram of a Lysergic acid diethylamide
  • 25 milligrams or more of a hallucinogen
  • 1 gram or more of a hallucinogenic substance
  • 1/8 ounce of 1 or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing methamphetamine, its salts, isomers or salts of isomers

There are two possession with intent offenses: criminal possession on a controlled substance in the fifth degree is a class D felony, while criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree is a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 220.06 and 220.16

Drug paraphernalia offenses

If you are found in possession of drugs, law enforcement may also conclude that you intend to sell them if you are also in possession of drug paraphernalia. Drug paraphernalia includes materials and equipment typically used to unlawfully manufacture, store and package controlled substances in order to sell them. Such materials include substances needed to dilute narcotics such as diluents, dilutants, and adulterants. In addition, materials needed to package small quantities of controlled substances in order to sell them such as gelatine capsules, other types of capsules, glassine envelopes, and vials, as well as equipment to weigh or measure drugs such as scales and balances. If you have substances that are referred to as precursors that are needed to manufacture certain controlled substances, law enforcement may conclude that you ultimately intend to sell drugs. Drug paraphernalia charges include criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.50; criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree, a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.55; and criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.60

Drug sale offenses

If you are charged with possession with intent to distribute, you may also face a distribution charge. There are several criminal offenses related to selling drugs. The severity of the charge that you will face is based on the type of drug and amount of drug. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree is the least serious sale of a controlled substance charge. It is a catchall charge that you will face if you unlawfully sell any amount of a narcotic, hallucinogenic or other controlled substance. It is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.31. There are more serious drug selling charges for certain specific types of drugs. In some cases if you sell above a certain minimum amount of particular types of drugs, the charge you will face will become increasing more severe. Drug selling charges include criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.34; criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.39; criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree, a class A-II felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.41 ; criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree, a class A-I felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.43; criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds, a class B felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.44; and operating as a major trafficker, a class A-1 felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.77

Sentencing

The sentence for a drug crime conviction varies based on the classification of the drug crime, with the maximum sentence being up to life in prison for class A-II and class A-I felonies. The most important factors used to determine the classification of a drug crime and the penalty are the type of drug, the amount of the drug, the type of offense, and your prior convictions. The most serious drug crimes involve manufacturing and selling.

Oftentimes those who commit drug crimes also suffer from substance abuse issues. Recognizing that substance abuse is often a contributing factor to criminal activity, New York offers eligible defendants the option of going to Drug Treatment Court as part of an alternative sentencing program. The court will consider the following factors in determining whether or not you should be offered the Drug Treatment Court Option:

  • Whether you have previously been convicted of a violent felony
  • Whether you have a problem with alcohol or substance abuse
  • Where alcohol or substance abuse contributed to your criminal behavior
  • Whether participating in the Drug Court Treatment program could effectively address your alcohol or substance abuse problem
  • Whether incarceration is necessary to protect the public

Drug Treatment Court is typically not an option if you are charged with a class A felony.

If the court offers you the option, you would have to plead guilty to your pending criminal charges. You may then accept the offer. If you successfully complete the Drug Treatment Court program, the court will take that into consideration in sentencing you. You may receive a relatively light sentence, the charges may be reduced, or the charges may be dismissed.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Penalties for intent to distribute or other crimes related to controlled substances are some of the harshest under New York law. In addition to possibly being sentenced to several years in prison, you may also be fined thousands of dollars. Because of these consequences, if you have been charged with a drug crime you should immediately contact an attorney who has experience defending those accused of drug offenses. 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 intent to distribute, drug possession, marijuana possession, drug selling, drug manufacturing, 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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