New York Penal Code § 220.39: Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree

There are several offenses prohibiting selling drugs> in the New York Penal Code. Most require that you sell or attempt to sell a minimum amount of specific types of drugs in order to be prosecuted. You will have committed the crime of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree under New York Penal Code § 220.39 if you knowingly and unlawfully sell drugs as follows:

  1. A narcotic drug,
  2. A stimulant weighing at least 1 gram,
  3. Lysergic acid diethylamide weighing at 1 milligram,
  4. A hallucinogen weighing at least 25 milligrams,
  5. A hallucinogenic weighing at least 1 grams, or
  6. Methadone weighing at least 1/8 of an ounce.

In addition you could be prosecuted for criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree if you sell narcotics to someone who is under the age of 21, or you sell a stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or lysergic acid diethylamide and you previously have been convicted of a drug offense.

Example

The police notice two men exit a bar that is located in an area that is known for drug problems. One man hands the other what appears to be cash and receives a small pouch in return. Based on suspicion that the two men had just completed a drug sale, the police stop and frisk both. The packet they observed contained cocaine. Depending on the amount of cocaine in the packet, the man who sold the cocaine could be prosecuted for criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 220.16
  2. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds: New York Penal Law § 220.44
Defenses

If you are arrested for third degree criminal sale of a controlled substance, you can challenge the charge based on the amount of drugs found in the incident. If the amount is less than the amount specified in the statute, then a charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree would not be valid.

Another defense would attack the method the police used to find the drugs. In order to conduct a search the police must have probable cause. If the search was unlawful anything which the search produced, including drugs would be inadmissible in court and your case would likely be dismissed.

Sentence

Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree is classified as a class B felony. This means that if you are convicted you will be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison. If you have no prior felony convictions, then the minimum prison sentence will be 5 years, while if you have a prior conviction the minimum prison sentence will be 10 years. In addition, you may be required to pay a fine of up to $30,000.

New York Penal Code § 220.39: Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

A person is guilty of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree when he knowingly and unlawfully sells:

  1. a narcotic drug; or
  2. a stimulant, hallucinogen, hallucinogenic substance, or lysergic acid diethylamide and has previously been convicted of an offense defined in article two hundred twenty or the attempt or conspiracy to commit any such offense; or
  3. a stimulant and the stimulant weighs one gram or more; or
  4. lysergic acid diethylamide and the lysergic acid diethylamide weighs one milligram or more; or
  5. a hallucinogen and the hallucinogen weighs twenty-five milligrams or more; or
  6. a hallucinogenic substance and the hallucinogenic substance weighs one gram or more; or
  7. one or more preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances containing methamphetamine, its salts, isomers or salts of isomers and the preparations, compounds, mixtures or substances are of an aggregate weight of one-eighth ounce or more; or
  8. phencyclidine and the phencyclidine weighs two hundred fifth milligrams or more; or
  9. a narcotic preparation to a person less than twenty-one years old.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

An arrest for a drug selling crime is very serious, especially since you are also likely to face additional charges such as drug possession or drug paraphernalia charges. Therefore, if you have been charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree you should immediately contact an attorney experienced with 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 who have been accused of drug possession, crack possession, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, drug selling, 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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