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Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance

New York City's District Attorneys Office's are known to prosecute drug sale cases to the fullest extent of the law. These cases are prosecuted at both the  state and  federal level, and often carry harsh sentences.

The most common narcotics sale criminal charge I see in State Court is Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, PL 220.39, which is a Class B felony. Regardless of the quantity, the alleged sale of  cocaine or  heroin by one person to another often results in a defendant being  charged with violating PL 220.39.

CSCS 3rd degree states that a person is guilty of criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree when he knowingly and unlawfully sells a narcotic drug. Section 220.00 of the New York Penal Law defines "sell" as sell, exchange, give or dispose of to another, or to offer or agree to do the same. In other words, money does not have to be exchanged as between the alleged seller and the alleged buyer. A person knowingly sells when that person is aware that he is selling something defined as a controlled substance; narcotic drug. Unlawfully, as defined by Section 220.00 of the NY Penal Law means in violation of Article 33 of the Public Health Law. If convicted of violating PL220.39, a defendant faces minimum mandatory prison terms pursuant to sentencing guidelines. Sentences range from 1-25 years in prison depending on the defendants past criminal record.

However, a defense is often available and if the case goes to trial, the prosecutor is required to prove each and every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes establishing a chain of custody of the drugs allegedly recovered from the defendant. If you are being charged with a drug offense you need a Drug Crimes Defense Lawyer who will protect your legal interests. Contact defense lawyer Michael J. Redenburg for a free consultation.


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