New York Penal Law § 178.10: Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the fourth degree

Criminal diversion is defined as transferring a prescription medication or device for money knowing that the recipient has no medical need for it, or receiving a prescription medication or device knowing that the seller does not have the legal authority to sell the prescription medication or device. There are 4 offenses in the New York criminal code related to criminal diversion. Criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the fourth degree is the least serious of the criminal diversion of prescription medication offenses. Under New York Penal Law § 178.10 you could be prosecuted for criminal diversion of prescription medication and prescriptions in the fourth degree if you commit an act of criminal diversion.

Examples

Carlos Medinas was accused of knowingly buying 300 tablets Procardia XL 60 mg.; 200 Procardia XL 90 mg.; and 30 tablets Diflucan 200 mg from a person not authorized to sell them. He was charged with criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the fourth degree. People v. Medinas, 689 N.Y.S.2d 345 (N.Y.Sup., 1999)

In another case defendant Sherri Barnes was charged with criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the fourth degree after giving Susan Jewett cash, groceries and other items in exchange for Jewett's prescription medications. People v. Barnes, 984 N.Y.S.2d 693 (N.Y. App. Div., 2014)

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 178.15
  2. Criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 178.20
  3. Criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 178.25
Defenses

If you are a licensed physician or pharmacist who dispensed the prescription medication in good faith, then you would have a defense to a charge of criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the fourth degree. However, this defense would be valid only if you were acting in good faith in the lawful course of your profession.

In addition, you would have a defense to this charge if you are a person seeking treatment for a medical condition or you are assisting someone in need of medical treatment.

Sentence

Use of a criminal diversion of prescription and prescriptions in the fourth degree is a class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted your sentence may include up to 1 year in jail, a probation term of 3 years, and a fine.

New York Penal Law § 178.10: Criminal Diversion of Prescription Medications and Prescriptions in the Fourth Degree

A person is guilty of criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the fourth degree when he or she commits a criminal diversion act.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Even though criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor and not a felony, the consequences are still serious. If you are convicted you could end up in jail for up to a year, and you will have a criminal record. 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 charged with crimes related to criminal diversion as well as drug crimes, grand larceny, and white collar 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 larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

CONTACT US FOR A FREE CONSULTATION
1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529)