Criminal Sale in the First Degree of a Controlled Substance: New York Penal Code § 220.43

Under NY Penal Code § 220.43, a person has committed the offense of criminal sale in the first degree of a controlled substance if knowingly and unlawfully the person sells:

  1. Two ounces or more of a narcotic; or
  2. Two thousand eight hundred eighty milligrams or more of methadone.
Hypothetical Case

Suppose the police in a large city obtained a search warrant to enter a suspect’s home. They found the man with several other men in the home, all with glassine envelopes containing heroin. Also present in the home was a very large amount of cash. It was evident that the men were involved in transacting the sale of significant amounts of heroin. If the amount was at least two ounces of heroin, then the suspect could be charged with criminal sale in the first degree of the sale of a controlled substance.

Possible Defenses

Lack of probable cause. Probable cause is a requirement in New York State to conduct a search of a person, their car, apartment, office, or any entity that the defendant controls. If probable cause is not apparent, then drugs discovered during the search cannot be used as evidence. The police must have reason to believe that a crime was committed to employ probable cause. Probable cause in the scenario described above applied as the police secured a search warrant before conducting the search of the house.

The quantity of drugs did not satisfy the required minimum. If the person accused can produce evidence that shows that the amount of drugs was less than the required minimum of two ounces for a narcotic or two thousand eight hundred eighty milligrams for methadone, then this section of the law is not applicable.

Other lines of defense. By examining every detail of the case, especially the defendant’s accounting, an astute and experienced defense attorney may be able to uncover alternate defensive positions.

Possible Sentence

The sentence imposed will take into account the individual’s history and criminal record, as well as details of the the case.

Imprisonment. A person convicted of criminal sale in the first degree of a controlled substance is subject to sentencing for a Class A-I felony. The minimum imprisonment sentence is fifteen to forty years, and the maximum imprisonment sentence is life.

Monetary fine. The convicted person may be ordered to pay a fine up to $100,000 in addition to the time spent imprisoned.

NY Penal Code § 220.43: Criminal Sale in the First Degree of a Controlled Substance

To reiterate, criminal sale in the first degree of a controlled substance is implicated when a person knowingly and unlawfully sells:

  1. Two ounces or more of a substance, mixture, compound, or preparation containing a narcotic drug; or
  2. Two thousand eight hundred and eighty milligrams or more of methadone.
Attorney to Defend Against the Charge of Criminal Sale in the First Degree of a Controlled Substance

Criminal sale in the first degree of a controlled substance is a Class A-I felony, one of the most serious New York offenses. If you are accused of breaking the law by committing a controlled substance offense, you should immediately get in touch with a capable and well-versed defense lawyer to guard against imprisonment and hefty fines.

Elliott Adler PC is an effective attorney firm that defends people charged with the criminal sale in the first degree of a controlled substance. The Elliot Adler PC law firm has successfully advocated on behalf of clients who have been accused of felony and misdemeanor controlled substance and drug crimes in the State of New York. The Elliot Adler PC law firm has competently defended clients who have been charged with drug crimes, including the sale or possession of marijuana, crack, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, OxyContin, Vicodin, PCP, and other controlled substances and drug crimes.

We can be reached at (212) 785-1300 or http://www.newyorkcriminallawyer24-7.com to schedule a no-obligation, free legal consultative meeting to evaluate your case.

Related Offenses

For additional information, refer to the following sections of the New York Penal Code:

  1. Operating as a major trafficker: § 220.77
  2. Criminal possession in the first degree of a controlled substance: § 220.21