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NY Penal Law § 22046 Criminal injection of a narcotic drug

June 24, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 220.46: Criminal injection of a narcotic drug

New York drug crimes laws prohibit you from the acts of selling, manufacturing, or distributing illegal narcotics. This not only includes exchanging narcotics for money, but it also covers giving drugs to another person or assisting someone else in taking illegal drugs.  It is a crime to use a hypodermic needle to inject another person with a narcotic under New York Penal Code § 220.46, criminal injection of a narcotic drug.  This law is very clear about making it unlawful to do so with even the consent of the person being injected. If you are charged with this crime, you could also be charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. In the event that the person that was injected should die after you inject them, the prosecutor may decide to press the charge of criminally negligent homicide against you also.


An Example

A woman, her boyfriend, and a group of their friends frequently used heroin together. Since the woman was squeamish about injecting herself, she habitually asked her boyfriend to inject her. On one such occasion, after her boyfriend injected her with heroin, the woman lost consciousness. The boyfriend panicked and fled the apartment. The woman’s friends immediately called paramedics, who fortunately were able to save the woman. In this case, the boyfriend could face prosecution for criminal injection of a narcotic drug.  This charge would be valid even though the woman asked him to inject her and survived the ordeal.


Offenses that are Related

Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument: New York Penal Code § 220.45

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree: New York Penal Law § 220.03

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 220.09

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth degree: New York Penal Law § 220.06

Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 220.16


Possible Defenses

You can challenge any of the prosecutor’s evidence that goes to any of the essential elements of the charge.  If you do this, you may be able to bring a successful defense against the charges. This could entail attacking the credibility of the witnesses, who all may have possibly been impaired by drugs at the time of the occurrence. Additionally, if the hypodermic needle was discovered by police in the course of an unlawful search, then the needle would become inadmissible and the prosecutor would have no option but to drop the charge.


Bear in mind that the fact person injected consented is not a defense, as consent is an element of the crime.


The Sentence

Since criminal injection of a narcotic drug is categorized as a class E felony, if you are convicted, you could face a maximum possible prison sentence of 4 years behind bars. Your sentence could also include a fine and a 5 year probation term. For the purpose of determining your sentence, the judge will take into consideration the crime committed, the details of the crime, your criminal history and your personal background. If you are a first time offender, your sentence could be a lot less severe than if you do have a prior criminal history.



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