New York Penal Code § 220.45: Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument

While it is against the law to possess, manufacture or sell illegal drugs, under New York Penal Code § 220.45 it is also against the law to possess a hypodermic needle that could be used to inject such drugs. In order to be convicted of the crime of criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument the prosecutor must show that the defendant knowingly and unlawfully possessed or sold a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle. It is not necessary that the needle contain an illegal drug or the residue of an illegal drug.

Example

A police officer observed a woman exit a bar followed several minutes later by a man. The man approached the woman and the woman handed the man what appeared to be money. The officer then observed the man take something from his pocket and pass it to the woman. The woman re-entered the bar. Because the area was known for high drug activity the officer suspected that a drug buy had occurred. The officer found the woman and patted her down. He found heroin and a hypodermic needle. The woman could be prosecuted for criminally possessing a hypodermic needle as well as criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal Injection of a Narcotic Drug: New York Penal Law § 220.48
  2. Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 220.50
  3. Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances: New York Penal Code § 220.60
  4. Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 220.70
  5. Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 220.71
Defenses

Under the statute a defense to a charge of criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument is that you possess the instrument because you have a written prescription from a practitioner, or because you otherwise lawfully possess the hypodermic needle or syringe pursuant to the provisions of New York Public Health Law § 3381.

Sentence

Because criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument is a class A misdemeanor if convicted you could be sentenced to up to 1 year in jail. Your sentence could also include a probation term of 3 years. In determining your sentence the judge will consider the crime committed, the details of the crime, your personal background, and your criminal history. If you are a first time offender your sentence will be less severe than if you have a criminal history.

New York Penal Code § 220.45: Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument

A person is guilty of criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses or sells a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle. It shall not be a violation of this section when a person obtains and possesses a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle pursuant to section thirty-three hundred eighty-one of the public health law.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

While criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument is not as serious a drug crime as many other drug crimes, keep in mind that if you are convicted you could end up in jail for up to a year, and you may have to pay a steep fine. 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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