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NY Penal Law § 220.60: Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances

June 24, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 220.60: Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances

In New York, it is against the law to unlawfully manufacture controlled substances. In an effort to curtail such activities, there is also a law on the books to interdict the possession of precursors or ingredients that are commonly used in the manufacturer of certain controlled substances. It is illegal under New York Penal Code § 220.60 to possess ingredients to make controlled substances such as methylamine and phenylacetone, which are both used to make methamphetamine. That said, it is not against the law to simply possess the ingredients listed in the statute. In order to be in violation of the criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances statute, the prosecutor must prove that you were in possession of such items with the intent to manufacture a controlled substance.


An Example

On the basis of a tip, the police executed a search warrant on a home that supposedly had drugs inside. Upon searching the home, the police officers did not find any controlled substances on the premises. Nonetheless, they did discover a substantial amount of ingredients that, when combined, can create certain controlled substances. The person living in that home could be prosecuted under the criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances because of the ingredients found in their home.


Offenses that are Related

Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 220.71

Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 220.50

Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 220.55

Criminal possession of precursors of methamphetamine: New York Penal Law § 220.72


Possible Defenses

In the event that you are charged with criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances, you may be able to successfully argue that you possessed such ingredients in your home for innocuous purposes. An alternative method of responding to such a charge is to argue that the search conducted to discover the ingredients was unlawful. There are certain  rules that the police must follow in order to lawfully search someone’s home, office, vehicle, or other location. If the police fail to adhere to these rules, a court may rule that the search was indeed unlawful. In the face of this ruling, the prosecutor may have no option but to dismiss the case against you.


The Sentence

Since criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances is categorized as a class E felony, if you are convicted, the maximum possible prison sentence that you could be looking at is 4 years. Your sentence may also include a fine as well as a 5 year probation term. In finalizing your sentence the judge will consider the crime committed, the details surrounding the crime, your prior criminal record and your personal background.



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