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

It’s no secret that using or selling any kind of illegal drug is against the law in New York. It’s also a crime to manufacture illegal drugs that are for personal use or that are delivered to other people. Possessing a hypodermic instrument that is used to inject illegal drugs is also against the law in the state. If there is a suspicion that you would use the instrument with illegal drugs but there are is not a drug in the device, then you could still be charged with the crime, especially if you have drugs in your possession. You would be convicted of the crime if you know that the instrument would be used to inject the drug or if you sold the instrument to someone who planned to use it to inject a drug.

A woman left a bar and was followed a few moments later by a man. A police officer in the parking lot saw the woman and man leaving and noticed that they were engaged in a conversation. The woman gave the man what looked like money, and the man then gave the woman something in return from his pocket. The officer knew that there was an abundance of drugs in the area, so he went inside the bar to try to locate the woman. When he saw her, he asked about what happened. He then proceeded to pat her down, finding a hypodermic needle as well as a small bag of heroin. Since she had these two items on her person, she could then be charged with criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument and possessing a controlled substance since she had the heroin on her as well.

Aside from possessing a hypodermic instrument, you can be charged with second-degree drug paraphernalia and injection of a narcotic drug depending on exactly what is found when you or your property are searched.

If you can prove that the hypodermic instrument was in your possession at the time because you have a prescription for them, then you could possibly use it as a defense in court. An example would be if you are a diabetic and require hypodermic needles to inject insulin. You could also present evidence that you are lawfully in possession of the instrument in order to inject medications without a prescription, but you would need to have the proper documentation from a physician stating that the instrument is needed.

This charge is considered a class A misdemeanor in New York. If you are convicted when you go to court, then you could go to jail for up to a year. The sentence will depend on your criminal background and the kind of drug that was involved. A probation sentence is possible instead of time in jail or could be attached to a jail sentence. This would mean that you would be on probation for a certain period of time after you are released.

Keep in mind that you will likely be charged with possessing a hypodermic instrument if you know that you have the device in your possession or you sell or deliver the device to someone else. There does not need to be any kind of drug inside the instrument for you to be charged if the officer suspects that you will use it for drug use or if there are drugs in your possession.

This type of crime isn’t as serious as others, but an attorney can prepare the proper defenses to use in court to try to keep you from going to jail. If possible, submit any medical documents to show that you were in the right for having the instrument in your possession.

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