New York Penal Code § 220.65: Criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance

In an effort to address the problem of prescription drug abuse, New York Penal Code section220.65 makes it illegal to sell a prescription for a controlled substance for an unlawful purpose. In order to be charged with this crime you must be a physician, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarian, scientific investigator, or other person licensed or permitted to conduct research involving controlled substances as defined in Public Health Law § 3302. If such a person sells a prescription for a controlled substance for a reason other than as a good faith part of his or her professional practice then that practitioner could be prosecuted for this crime.

Example

A psychiatrist wrote prescriptions for a patient for a controlled substance regularly over a 2 month period. The psychiatrist did so with the knowledge that the patient intended to sell the pills on the street. In another instance the same psychiatrist regularly wrote prescriptions for a controlled substance to another patient who the psychiatrist knew was an addict. This psychiatrist could be prosecuted for criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance because in both cases he wrote prescriptions for a reason other than a good faith part of his professional practice.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 220.43
  2. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 220.41
  3. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 220.39
  4. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree: New York Penal Code § 220.34
  5. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree: New York Penal Code § 220.31
  6. Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument: New York Penal Code § 220.45
Defenses

If you can show that you wrote the prescription for a valid medical reason, then you would have a defense to a charge of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance. Also, if you can show that you wrote the prescription as a good faith part of your professional practice but without your knowledge your patient then sold the drugs, you may be able to successfully defend such a charge.

Sentence

Because criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance is a class C felony, if you are convicted your possible sentence will be up to 15 years in prison. The minimum sentence that the judge will give you is either 3 1/2 or 7 years depending on whether or not you have a prior felony conviction. You will also have to pay a fine of up to $15,000.

New York Penal Code § 220.65: Criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance

A person is guilty of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance when, being a practitioner, as that term is defined in section thirty-three hundred two of the public health law, he knowingly and unlawfully sells a prescription for a controlled substance. For the purposes of this section, a person sells a prescription for a controlled substance unlawfully when he does so other than in good faith in the course of his professional practice.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Drug cases can involve several complicated issues that could factor into the charge you face, whether or not you are prosecuted, whether or not you are convicted and if convicted, the sentence you face. If you have been arrested and charged with criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance, immediately contact an experienced attorney. 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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