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Criminally Injecting a Narcotic Drug: New York Penal Code § 220.46

NY Penal Code § 220.46 allows for the prosecution of a person who knowingly and unlawfully injects another person with a narcotic substance, particularly if that person has consented to the injection. The charge may be exacerbated with an additional charge of possession of a narcotic substance, and if the person dies as a result of the injection, the accused may also be charged with criminally negligent homicide.

Hypothetical Case

Suppose a woman and her boyfriend often used heroin together along with their friends. The woman was uncomfortable injecting herself with heroin, so she routinely asked her boyfriend to do it for her. On one occasion, the boyfriend injected the woman with heroin, and she became unconscious and lifeless. The boyfriend panicked and fled their apartment. The woman’s other friends saw what had happened and called 911. The paramedics rushed to the woman’s rescue and were able to revive her. The boyfriend could be prosecuted with criminally injecting a narcotic drug.

Possible Defenses

Challenge prosecutor’s evidence. For each piece of evidence that the prosecutor forwards, the defense must have a viable rebuttal that is designed to undermine each of the prosecutor’s points. Throwing elements of doubt into the prosecutor’s case is the objective with this strategy.

Challenge credibility of any witnesses. If the prosecutor uses any of the woman’s friends as witnesses to the crime, one defensive option may be to attack their credibility, contending that the friends were probably high on heroin so they were not in control of their senses or thought processes and were not capable of good judgement.

Other lines of defense. The fact that the woman gave consent to the narcotic injection is irrelevant, but with close examination of the case details, including the defendant’s testimony and version of the incident, a sharp and savvy defense attorney could build a strong case in favor of the client.

Possible Sentence

The judge will give consideration to the crime committed, crime details, and accused’s criminal history and background to determine an appropriate sentence. First time offenders will generally receive a more lenient sentence than repeat offenders.

Imprisonment. A person convicted of criminally injecting a narcotic drug is subject to sentencing for a Class E felony which carries a sentence of up to four years in jail.

Probation. In addition to imprisonment, the judge could order five years of probation.

Monetary fine. In addition to imprisonment, the judge could order that the convicted individual pay a fine in an amount determined by the court.

NY Penal Code § 220.46: Criminally Injecting a Narcotic Drug

To reiterate, a person is guilty of criminally injecting a narcotic drug when that person unlawfully and knowingly has in their possession a narcotic drug and intentionally uses a hypodermic instrument or needle to inject the narcotic drug into another individual’s body with the latter’s permission.

Lawyer to Defend Against the Charge of Criminally Injecting a Narcotic Drug

Even though a charge of criminally injecting a narcotic drug is not as serious a drug crime as many others, the prospect of paying a steep fine and spending up to four years in prison, followed by years on probation will wreak havoc in a person’s life. If you are charged with this crime or any controlled substance offense, you should immediately seek legal advice.

Barry C. Weiss P.C. law firm is expert in defending clients accused of criminally injecting a narcotic drug. Moreover, the Elliot Adler PC law firm has successfully defended clients accused of felony and misdemeanor controlled substance and drug crimes in the State of New York. The Elliot Adler PC law firm has ardently represented clients charged with drug crimes, including the sale or possession of marijuana, LSD, OxyContin, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, Vicodin, crack, PCP, and other controlled substances and drug crimes.

We can be reached at (212) 785-1300 or 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 possession of a hypodermic instrument: § 220.45
  2. Criminal possession in the third degree of a controlled substance: § 220.16
  3. Criminal possession in the fourth degree of a controlled substance: § 220.09
  4. Criminal possession in the fifth degree of a controlled substance: § 220.06
  5. Criminal possession in the seventh degree of a controlled substance: § 220.03
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