New York Club Drugs
Club drugs are a class of recreational drugs that are often used and distributed at raves, night clubs, bars, and house parties. The most frequent users of club drugs are young adults and teens. Unlike other illicit drugs club drugs are not defined based on their pharmaceutical properties, but by when and how they are often used. Common club drugs include MDMA, Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB), Rohypnol, methamphetamine, and ketamine. GHB and Rohypnol, also referred to as rophies, are known as date rape drugs as they are often placed in another person's food or beverage without that person's knowledge. Their sedating and incapacitating effects make it easy for the recipient of the drug to become a victim of a sexual assault. Ketamine, sometimes referred to as "Special K" is typically snorted or injected intramuscularly. Its common, legal use is as an animal tranquilizer used by vets in pet surgery. When taken by humans it has an effect similar to PCP. It causes a detached, dream-like state. MDMA, popularly referred to as ecstasy, was once a drug given to psychotherapy patients to lower inhibitions. Because of safety concerns it was banned in the 1980s. It gives users a feeling of euphoria. It is commonly available in pill form. Methamphetamine, or meth, is a stimulant. It speeds up the brain and gives users an intense high. It is available as pills, powders, or chunky crystals. Meth is highly addictive. Other drugs in the club drug category include LSD, cocaine, psychedelic mushrooms and PCP. Club drugs are controlled substances as defined in the New York Penal Code. As such it is generally illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute club drugs. If you have been charged with a drug crime related to club drugs you should immediately contact an experienced New York club drugs lawyer who will explain to you your legal rights and options given the facts of your case. 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 assault, domestic violence and sex crimes. Find out what we can do for you by contacting us at to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case.Types of club drug crimes
There are no specific crimes related to only "club drugs." If you are accused of a club drug crime, you will face the same type of charge that relates to any type of controlled substance. New York law controlled substances laws are generally related to possession, sale, drug paraphernalia, and manufacturing. In addition, there are other crimes related to using club drugs such as sex crimes.Possession of a controlled substance offenses
If you are found in possession of a club drug, there are several different criminal possession of a controlled substance charges that you could face. If you have only a small amount, you may face the least severe charge of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree. It is a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.03. If you have more than a very small amount of a club drug, you will face a felony charge. For example, you will be charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree if you are in possession of at least 50 milligrams of PCP, at least 500 milligrams of cocaine, at least 1,000 milligrams of ketamine, any amount of ketamine if you have a previous possession of ketamine conviction, or at least 28 grams of GHB. This charge is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.06
The more of the club drug that you have the more serious the charge will be. Other possession charges include criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the first degree.Sale of a controlled substance offenses
The sale or distribution of club drugs is considered a much more serious offense than possession. Like possession, the severity of the charge that you will face for sale of a club drug is based on the type of drug and amount of drug. Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fifth degree is the minimum charge you will face if you unlawfully sell a club drug. It is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.31. You will face criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree if you sell at least 50 milligrams of PCP; any amount of PCP if you have a prior conviction of a controlled substance offense; at least 4,000 milligrams of ketamine; or at least 28 grams of GHB. Furthermore, if you sell a club drug at a school, on a school bus, at a day care, or at an educational facility, you will be charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the fourth degree. It is a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.34. You will face the more severe charges of third, second or first criminal sale of a controlled substance if you sell greater amounts of a club drug or other controlled substance. The most serious drug selling charge is operating as a major trafficker. You will face this charge if you are the director of an organization that sells $75,000 worth of controlled substances in a 12 month period. It is a class A-1 felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.77Club drug paraphernalia offenses
Drug paraphernalia offenses make it illegal to have the equipment that is used to manufacture, store and package club drugs and other controlled substances in order to sell them. Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree involves having items that are used to dilute narcotics such as diluents and adulterants, items used for packaging drugs such as gelatine capsules, glassine envelopes, and vials, or equipment used to measure and weigh drugs such as scales. It is a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.50. Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances involves possessing substances that are required to manufacture controlled substances with the intent to use them to unlawfully manufacture drugs. It is a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.60Manufacturing methamphetamine offenses
Meth labs are popping up all across the country. They are makeshift labs, often in homes, that people use to manufacture the club drug methamphetamine. Manufacturing meth is one of the most serious drug crimes. One reason that this crime is considered so serious is that meth labs are very dangerous. Dangerous chemicals are used in the manufacture of meth. Furthermore, because the chemicals are so volatile, one misstep could cause an explosion. If you are convicted of the most serious meth manufacturing charge, you could be sentenced to up to 25 years in prison.
Meth manufacturing charges include criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the third degree, criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree, criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine, and unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the third degree. Each charge involves having the substances and equipment required to manufacture meth. The more elements that you have, meaning the closer you are to having everything required to make meth, the more serious the charge. Materials and equipment include precursors, chemical reagents, solvents, and lab equipment. N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 220.70-220.73. These charges range from a class A misdemeanor to a class D felony.
If you manufacture meth in the presence of a child, you could be charged with unlawful manufacture of methamphetamine in the second degree, a class C felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.74. Because materials used to manufacture meth are so dangerous, if they are not disposed of with care they pose a danger to the health and safety of the community. Thus, if you dispose of meth making materials in a dangerous manner, you may face a charge of unlawful disposal of methamphetamine laboratory material. It is a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.76Drug crimes related to the use of needles
The use of some club drugs such as ketamine can involve using hypodermic syringes or needle. If you are found in possession of a hypodermic syringe or needle, you could face a charge of criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument, a class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.45. If you inject someone else with a drug, you could be charged with criminal injection of a narcotic drug, a class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 220.46Drug crimes and sex crimes
Certain club drugs are regularly used to commit sex crimes. If you give someone GHB, Rohypnol, or any other drub without that person's consent, that person would be left in a condition so that they are unable to consent to sex. If you then have sex or perform any other sexual act with that person, you could face a charge of facilitating a sex offense with a controlled substance. This is a class D felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.90.Sentencing
If you are convicted of a crime related to a club drug your sentence could range from a few months in jail to over 25 years in prison. It depends on whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony, and if it is a felony, the classification of the felony. The classification of the crime depends on the type of drug and the amount. Possession crimes are viewed as less serious than crimes related to distribution or manufacturing. The penalties for drug convictions include:
- Class A misdemeanor. The maximum possible sentence is 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Class E felony. The maximum possible sentence is 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
- Class D felony. The maximum possible sentence is 7 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. .
- Class C felony . The maximum possible sentence is 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Class B felony. The maximum possible sentence is 25 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. .
- Class A-II felony. The maximum possible sentence is life in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.
- Class A-I felony. The maximum possible sentence is life in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.
In addition to the classification of the crime, other factors go into determining your sentence. For example, if you are a first time offender, the judge may give you a relatively light sentence, or sentence you to a drug treatment program. Punishment for a drug crime conviction goes beyond the sentence. You will have criminal record with a drug offense. If your drug offense was coupled with a sex crime, you will also be required to register as a sex offender.
The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help
Because of the prevalence of club drugs in the community, law enforcement is aggressive in its efforts to identify and prosecute those involved with club drugs. Because of this if you have been charged with a club drug offense you should immediately contact an experienced attorney. 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 offenses related to club drugs and other controlled substances. 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.