Article 220 of the NYS Penal Law covers crimes for Controlled Substances.
Make no mistake, an arrest for possession or sale of a controlled substance is a serious accusation. Article 220 contains 28 separate crimes that range from Class A – Felonies to B – Misdemeanors and carries sentences ranging from 20 years to 3 months incarceration.
The Law defines Controlled Substances as:
“…any substance listed in section thirty-three hundred six of the public health law…” including but not limited to Marihuana, Narcotic drugs, Narcotic preparations, Hallucinogens, Hallucinogenic substances, Stimulants, and Depressants. – See, New York State Law Public Health Law § 3306.
In laymen’s terms this law covers:
- Opites such as Codeine, Morphine and Heroin.
- Opium derivatives such as Hydrocodone or Oxycodone.
- Hallucinogenic substances such as LSD, Marijuana and Mescaline.
- Depressants such as Xanax, Klonopin and Librium, a/k/a “Benzos.”
- Stimulants such as Cocaine, Crack-cocaine and Methamphetamine (MDMA) a/k/a Ecstasy or “Molly“.
- Immediate precursors containing: any form of Amphetamines, Methamphetamines, P2P and PCP.
- Anabolic steroids basically any drug or hormonal substance chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone.
Notably, the most common element present in Article 220 is knowledge of the illegal activity. That is, the Accused must “Knowingly” possess or sell the controlled substance. Therefore, to be convicted Law Enforcement must prove the Defendant’s knowledge of the possession or subsequent sale of the substance.
Typically, the Police and District Attorney’s use a Defendant’s actions to prove their knowledge or intent. For example, direct observations by law enforcement; confessions made by the Defendant; hiding or destroying evidence; possession of drug paraphernalia including possession cash other items used to possess or sell controlled substances are often used as evidence of the Defendant’s knowledge.
However, there is one horrible exception, Article 220 also contains the presumption that when a controlled substance is in an automobile, such controlled substance is knowingly possessed by every person in that automobile. Also, when a controlled substance is in open view in a room, other than a public place, such controlled substance is knowingly possessed by each and every person in close proximity to it. – See, N.Y.P.L. § 220.25 Criminal possession of a controlled substance; presumption.
Thus, under this presumption, people everyday are charged with possession of a controlled substance for merely associating with bad friends.
If you or a family member are charged with Criminal Sale or Criminal Possession of Controlled Substances, you need to seek legal advice immediately to protect your rights and review your options. Call my office today to schedule a free confidential consultation, (845) 867-2812.