Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance Prescription: New York Penal Code § 220.65

NY Penal Code § 220.65 allows for the prosecution of a practitioner or professional person who sells a controlled substance prescription for unlawful purposes and not for a reason that is consistent with their respective professional codes of conduct. This law applies to psychiatrists, physicians, podiatrists, veterinarians, dentists, scientific investigators, and all individuals who have licenses or permits to perform research and use controlled substances in their work as stated in Public Health Law 3302.

Hypothetical Case

Suppose a psychiatrist ordered several prescriptions for one of his patients over the course of a year knowing that the patient was not in need of the prescriptions and that the patient was illegally selling the controlled substance on the street. The same psychiatrist prescribed another controlled substance to one of his patients who was addicted to the drug. The psychiatrist is liable to be prosecuted for the criminal sale of a controlled substance prescription in both cases because the psychiatrist was not prescribing for a valid medical reason, nor was the psychiatrist abiding by the professional codes of conduct or practicing in good faith for the benefit of the patients.

Possible Defenses

No knowledge of illicit sale of prescribed drugs. If the psychiatrist can produce evidence that proves that he did not know that the patient was selling the prescribed controlled substances to people for whom the drugs were not intended, the psychiatrist would have a viable defensive case.

Valid medical purpose. If the psychiatrist can produce evidence that proves that he prescribed the drug for a valid medical reason, the psychiatrist would have a case that would stand up in court.

Other lines of defense. By carefully examining the circumstances and details of the case, an experienced and seasoned defense attorney may discover other tactics that might cause the court to return a judgment of innocence for the defendant.

Possible Sentence

Imprisonment. A person convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance prescription may be sentenced up to fifteen years of incarceration for this Class C felony. The minimum sentence is three and a half years of imprisonment if the convicted person had no prior felony conviction, but if the convicted person had a prior felony conviction, then the minimum sentence is seven years of imprisonment.

Monetary Fine. A person convicted of criminal sale of a controlled substance prescription may also be penalized with a mandatory payment of up to $15,000.

NY Penal Code § 220.65: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance Prescription

To reiterate, a person is guilty of criminal sale of a controlled substance prescription when, as a practitioner as detailed in § 3302 of the Public Health Law, that professional, practitioner or worker knowingly and unlawfully violates their professional codes of conduct and good faith while carrying out the responsibilities of their trade.

Lawyer to Defend Against the Charge of Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance Prescription

A guilty charge of criminal sale of a controlled substance prescription could result in a sentence of up to fifteen years in prison. If charged with this crime or any crime related to controlled substances, you must seek legal counsel immediately.

Elliott Adler PC law firm has successfully defended individuals charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance prescription. Moreover, the Elliot Adler PC law firm has ardently defended clients accused of misdemeanor and felony controlled substance crimes in the State of New York. The Elliot Adler PC law firm is a reliable force when representing individuals accused of drug crimes, including the sale or possession of controlled substances such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, OxyContin, Vicodin, crack, marijuana, and PCP.

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. Criminal sale in the fifth degree of a controlled substance: § 220.31
  2. Criminal sale in the fourth degree of a controlled substance: § 220.34
  3. Criminal sale in the third degree of a controlled substance: § 220.39
  4. Criminal sale in the second degree of a controlled substance: § 220.41
  5. Criminal sale in the first degree of a controlled substance: § 220.43
  6. Criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument: § 220.45