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NY Penal Law § 221.45: Criminal sale of marihuana in the third degree

June 25, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 221.45: Criminal sale of marihuana in the third degree

In the New York Penal Code, there are five offenses that make it illegal to sell marihuana. Two of the crimes are misdemeanors and 3 of them are felonies.  It is a felony to sell over 25 grams of marihuana under New York Penal Code § 221.45. For the purposes of this statute, the term “marihuana” enxompasses any the following, as long as they contain marihuana:

 

  • Compounds
  • Preparations
  • Substances
  • Mixtures

 

It is critical that you understand that even if you do not exchange the marihuana for cash, you can still be convicted under this statute. The definition of selling under New York Penal Code § 220.001(1) also means to exchange, give or dispose of to another, or to offer or agree to do so. Therefore, you can get convicted under the criminal sale of marihuana in the third degree even if the “sale” was not completed, or even if you did not receive anything in exchange for passing marihuana off to another person.

 

An Example

A purchase of marihuana was made by a confidential informant (CI) from a woman with “buy money” provided by the police. Later, the police confirmed that the quantity of marihuana involved in the transaction was 100 grams. The woman was placed under arrest and charged with sale of marihuana in the third degree. Since the amount of marihuana involved was more than 25 grams and less than 113 grams (4 ounces), the prosecutor had what he needed to charge her with criminal sale of marihuana in the third degree.

 

Offenses that are Related

Criminal possession of marihuana in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 221.20

Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 220.39

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

 

Possible Defenses

If you can demonstrate that the amount of marihuana involved in the occurrence was less than 25 grams, then you would have a valid defense to a charge of criminal sale of marihuana in the third degree.

 

Sentence

Due to the fact that criminal sale of marihuana is categorized as a class E felony, if you are convicted the maximum possible prison sentence that you could get is 4 years. Your sentence may also include a fine as well as a 5 year probation term. For the purpose of determining your sentence, the judge will take several factors into consideration.  These factors include the crime committed, the details of the crime, your criminal history and your personal background. If you are a first time offender, then your sentence will be a lot less severe than if you have a criminal history.

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