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NY Penal Law § 220.46: Criminal injection of a narcotic drug

New York drug crimes laws prohibit you from selling, manufacturing, or distributing narcotics. This includes not only exchanging narcotics for money, but also giving drugs to another person or helping someone else take illegal drugs. Under New York Penal Code § 220.46, criminal injection of a narcotic drug, it is a crime to use a hypodermic needle to inject another person with a narcotic. This law specifically makes it unlawful to do so with the consent of the person being injected. If charged with this crime you may also be charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. If the person dies after you inject them, the prosecutor may decide to charge you with criminally negligent homicide.


A woman, her boyfriend, and their friends often used heroin together. Because the woman was squeamish about injecting herself, she usually asked her boyfriend to inject her. On one occasion after injecting her boyfriend injected her, the woman lost consciousness. The boyfriend panicked and left the apartment. The woman's friends called paramedics who were able to save the woman. In this case the boyfriend could be prosecuted for criminal injection of a narcotic drug even though the woman asked him to inject her.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree: New York Penal Law § 220.03
  2. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree: New York Penal Law § 220.06
  3. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 220.09
  4. Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 220.16
  5. Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument: New York Penal Code § 220.45

If you can challenge any of the prosecutor's evidence that goes to any of the essential elements of the charge, you may be able to mount a successful defense against the charges. This might involve attacking the credibility of the witnesses who all may have been impaired by drugs at the time of the incident. In addition, if the hypodermic needle was found by police during an unlawful search, then the needle would be inadmissible and the prosecutor would have no choice but to drop the charge.

It is not a defense that the person injected consented as consent is an element of the crime.


Because criminal injection of a narcotic drug is a class E felony, if you are convicted the maximum possible prison sentence that you will receive is 4 years. Your sentence could also include a fine as well as a probation term of 5 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 prior criminal history.

New York Penal Code § 220.46: Criminal injection of a narcotic drug

A person is guilty of criminal injection of a narcotic drug when he knowingly and unlawfully possesses a narcotic drug and he intentionally injects by means of a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle all or any portion of that drug into the body of another person with the latter`s consent.

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While criminal injection of a narcotic drug is not as serious drug crime as many other drug crimes, keep in mind that if you are convicted you could end up in prison for a few years, and you may have to pay a steep fine.

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