New York Penal Code § 220.55: Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree

It is against the law in New York not only to possess or sell illegal drugs, but to using drug paraphernalia. There are two laws related to the use of drug paraphernalia: criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree and the second degree. Under New York Penal Code § 220.55 to be convicted of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree, you must have been previously convicted of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree. To charge you with criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree the prosecutor must show that you knowingly possess or sell:

  1. Diluents, dilutants or adulterants
  2. Gelatine capsules, glassine envelopes, vials, capsules or any other material that can be used to package narcotics
  3. Scales and balances used or designed for the purpose of weighing or measuring controlled substances

In addition, you must possess or sell these products under circumstances that indicate that you know that the products will be used manufacture or sell drugs.

Example

Upon execution of a search warrant, the police recovered 100 small ziploc bags from the kitchen of a man's home. In another part of the home a shoebox was found that contained several similar ziploc bags that were filled with cocaine. The police concluded that the ziploc bags were for packaging cocaine. Because the man had been previously convicted of criminally using during paraphernalia in the second degree, he was arrested and charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree.

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

Many of the items that are banned under New York Penal Code § 220.55 have innocuous uses. Thus, if you are charged with criminally using drug paraphernalia based on merely possessing items that are listed under this statute without proof that the intention was for them to be used to make drugs or sell drugs, then you may have a defense to the charge.

Sentence

Because criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree is a class D felony and is also a drug crime, if you are convicted you could be sent to prison for 2-7 years.

New York Penal Code § 220.55: Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree

A person is guilty of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree when he commits the crime of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree and he has previously been convicted of criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are arrested for a drug paraphernalia charge and it is your second such offense, if you are convicted you will be sent to prison for at least 2 years. Furthermore, if you are charged with drug paraphernalia crime there is a good chance that 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 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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