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NY Penal Law § 22048 Criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child

June 24, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 220.48: Criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child

The selling of narcotics is a serious offense. That said, an even more serious offense is selling narcotics to a minor. Selling certain specified quantities of controlled substances such as a narcotic preparation, concentrated cannabis, 10 ounces or more of a dangerous depressant, methadone, or 50 milligrams or more of phencyclidine is a class C felony. Nevertheless, if you are over the age of 21 and you sell such drugs to someone who is younger than 17 years old, you will be charged under New York Penal Code § 220.48 with criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child.  This is a class B felony.



A 22 year old man sells some cocaine to his cousin, who is 16 years old. The cousin then gets arrested for an unrelated offense and the police discover the cocaine in the cousin’s inside jacket pocket. The cousin confesses to the police that his elder cousin sold the cocaine to him. The elder cousin is then arrested and charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child.


Offenses that are Related

Endangering the welfare of a child: New York Penal Code § 260.10

Criminal sale of a controlled substance in or near school grounds: New York Penal Code § 220.44


Possible Defenses

Depending on the specific narcotic involved, in order to successfully convict you of criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child, the prosecutor has to prove that the quantity of the drug met the minimum required for the charge. If the drug sold was ketamine, for example, the statute requires that the amount must have been at least 4,000 grams. If there was less than that amount involved, then you would have a solid defense against the charge.


Another alternative defense is to demonstrate a reasonable belief that the person was over the age of 17.  The statute requires that the accused “knowingly” sold the drugs to a person younger than the age of 17.


The Sentence

Since criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child is in the category of class B felony and it is a drug crime, the prison sentence you could be looking at is 5-25 years. If you have a prior felony conviction, your sentence would be 10-25 years in prison. On top of the prison time, you may be required to pay a fine of up to $30,000



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