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New York Penal Code § 220.41: Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree

New York Penal Code § 220.41: Criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree

Penal Code § 220.41 concerns the sale of illegal substances. Under the law, the individual charged with the crime must “knowingly and unlawfully” sell one of a number of illegal substances. To be charged with this crime in the second degree, the individual in question must also possess at least a specific amount of the drug at the time of his or her arrest. Being found guilty of the crime assumes both the attempt to sell as well as the possession of the drugs.

Relevant Drug Amounts

According to New York Penal Code § 220.41, you have committed the specific crime of conducting a criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree if you possess the following drugs in the following amounts:

At least half an ounce of any narcotic
At least half an ounce of a methamphetamine
At least five grams of any stimulant
At least five milligrams of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
At least twenty-five milligrams of any other hallucinogen
At least five grams of any other hallucinogenic
At least three-hundred sixty milligrams of methadone.

A Hypothetical Situation

Imagine that the police know that a hallucinogen is being sold out of a warehouse, with the plans of distributing the drugs to smaller sellers who would then, in turn, sell it to their clients. During a stakeout, the police might see someone enter that warehouse and leave carrying a package that he or she did not have when he or she entered the building. When the police follow the man, they see him meet up with another party and exchange the package for cash. After arresting both parties to the exchange, they find that the package in question contained illegal hallucinogens. If the hallucinogens in that package weighed more than twenty-five milligrams, the man who sold the package could be charged with criminal sale of a controlled substance in the second degree.

Offenses Related to this Crime

New York Penal Law § 220.77: Operating as a major trafficker.

New York Penal Code § 220.65: Criminal sale of a prescription of a controlled substance.

New York Penal Code § 220.21: Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second degree.


Precision matters in crimes like that. As such, one of the most important defenses that one can make when charged with this crime is to dispute the weight of the drugs that were found. Remember, the person in the hypothetical above could only be charged with this crime if he had at least twenty-five milligrams of the hallucinogen on his person. If he was charged with this crime but had less than twenty-five milligrams on his person, he hasn’t committed the crime with which he has been charged.

It’s also very important to know whether the police followed the proper procedures when it comes to search and seizure. If the police performed an illegal search or if they did not properly handle the evidence in the case, it’s not possible to prove that a crime was committed. It’s important to bring this up as a defense to ensure that the proper procedures are followed by the police at all times.


This crime is considered a Class A-2 felony in the state of New York. This makes this crime one of the more serious on the books, and this means that you can receive quite a significant sentence if you are found guilty. It is possible for an individual to be sentenced to life in prison if he or she commits this crime, with a fine of up to fifty-thousand dollars assessed at the same time. Most who are found guilty of the crime, however, can expect a minimum sentence of between three and eight years. The amount of time spent in prison will largely depend on the factors surrounding the crime as well as any prior criminal history that you might have.

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