(a) It is unlawful to possess an opium pipe or any device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully injecting or smoking (1) a controlled substance specified in subdivision (b), (c), or (e) or paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 11054, specified in paragraph (14), (15), or (20) of subdivision (d) of Section 11054, specified in subdivision (b) or (c) of Section 11055, or specified in paragraph (2) of subdivision (d) of Section 11055, or (2) a controlled substance that is a narcotic drug classified in Schedule III, IV, or V.
(b) This section shall not apply to hypodermic needles or syringes that have been containerized for safe disposal in a container that meets state and federal standards for disposal of sharps waste.
(c) Until January 1, 2026, as a public health measure intended to prevent the transmission of HIV, viral hepatitis, and other bloodborne diseases among persons who use syringes and hypodermic needles, and to prevent subsequent infection of sexual partners, newborn children, or other persons, this section shall not apply to the possession solely for personal use of hypodermic needles or syringes.(Amended by Stats. 2020, Ch. 274, Sec. 4. (AB 2077) Effective January 1, 2021.)
NY Penal Law § 220.45: Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument
While it is against the law to possess, manufacture or sell illegal drugs, under New York Penal Code § 220.45 it is also against the law to possess a hypodermic needle that could be used to inject such drugs. In order to be convicted of the crime of criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument the prosecutor must show that the defendant knowingly and unlawfully possessed or sold a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle. It is not necessary that the needle contain an illegal drug or the residue of an illegal drug.Example
A police officer observed a woman exit a bar followed several minutes later by a man. The man approached the woman and the woman handed the man what appeared to be money. The officer then observed the man take something from his pocket and pass it to the woman. The woman re-entered the bar. Because the area was known for high drug activity the officer suspected that a drug buy had occurred. The officer found the woman and patted her down. He found heroin and a hypodermic needle. The woman could be prosecuted for criminally possessing a hypodermic needle as well as criminal possession of a controlled substance.Related Offenses
- Criminal Injection of a Narcotic Drug: New York Penal Law § 220.48
- Criminally using drug paraphernalia in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 220.50
- Criminal possession of precursors of controlled substances: New York Penal Code § 220.60
- Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 220.70
- Criminal possession of methamphetamine manufacturing material in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 220.71
Under the statute a defense to a charge of criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument is that you possess the instrument because you have a written prescription from a practitioner, or because you otherwise lawfully possess the hypodermic needle or syringe pursuant to the provisions of New York Public Health Law § 3381.Sentence
Because criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument is a class A misdemeanor if convicted you could be sentenced to up to 1 year in jail. Your sentence could also include a probation term of 3 years. In determining your sentence the judge will consider the crime committed, the details of the crime, your personal background, and your criminal history. If you are a first time offender your sentence will be less severe than if you have a criminal history.New York Penal Code § 220.45: Criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument
A person is guilty of criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument when he or she knowingly and unlawfully possesses or sells a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle. It shall not be a violation of this section when a person obtains and possesses a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle pursuant to section thirty-three hundred eighty-one of the public health law.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
While criminally possessing a hypodermic instrument is not as serious a drug crime as many other drug crimes, keep in mind that if you are convicted you could end up in jail for up to a year, and you may have to pay a steep fine. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients who have been accused of drug possession, crack possession, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, drug selling, and other drug crimes. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of drug crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.
2013 New Jersey Revised Statutes
Title 2C - THE NEW JERSEY CODE OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE
Section 2C:36-6 - Possession or distribution of hypodermic syringe or needle
NJ Rev Stat § 2C:36-6 (2013) What's This?
2C:36-6. Possession or distribution of hypodermic syringe or needle
2C:36-6. a. Except as authorized by subsection b., c. or other law, it shall be unlawful for a person to have under his control or possess with intent to use a hypodermic syringe, hypodermic needle or any other instrument adapted for the use of a controlled dangerous substance or a controlled substance analog as defined in chapter 35 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes or to sell, furnish or give to any person such syringe, needle or instrument. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.
b.A person is authorized to possess and use a hypodermic needle or hypodermic syringe if the person obtains the hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle by a valid prescription issued by a licensed physician, dentist or veterinarian and uses it for its authorized purpose.
No prescription for a hypodermic syringe, hypodermic needle or any other instrument adapted for the use of controlled dangerous substances by subcutaneous injections shall be valid for more than one year from the date of issuance.
c.Subsection a. does not apply to a duly licensed physician, dentist, veterinarian, undertaker, nurse, podiatrist, registered pharmacist, or a hospital, sanitarium, clinical laboratory or any other medical institution, or a state or a governmental agency, or a regular dealer in medical, dental or surgical supplies, or a resident physician or intern of a hospital, sanitarium or other medical institution.
L.1987, c.106, s.2; amended 1999,c.90, s.2.
Disclaimer: These codes may not be the most recent version. New Jersey may have more current or accurate information. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site or the information linked to on the state site. Please check official sources.
Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument: New York Penal Code § 220.45
NY Penal Code § 220.45 allows for the prosecution of a person who knowingly and unlawfully has possession of or has sold a hypodermic instrument or needle that can be used to inject controlled substances. It is not necessary that the hypodermic instrument contain a controlled substance or residue of a controlled substance to be prosecuted under this section of New York law.Hypothetical Case
Suppose police officers were on patrol one evening and were driving by a bar known to them for frequent drug deals. They saw a man and woman exit the bar together and walk to the alley between two buildings. The man passed a small packet to the woman, and the woman handed a fistful of money to the man. The police officers immediately suspected that a drug deal had just taken place. They, then, apprehended both individuals and patted them down. On the woman, they not only found the packet that she had just purchased, but a hypodermic needle, as well. The packed was suspected to contain heroin. The woman could be prosecuted for criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument in addition to possession of a controlled substance.Possible Defenses
Legitimate legal possession of hypodermic instrument. If the defendant can prove that possession of the hypodermic instrument was legal with a written prescription from a medical practitioner or pursuant to NY Public Health Law section 3381, then this section of the law cannot be invoked. Without verification that the possession of a hypodermic instrument or needle is for legitimate reasons, then the defendant may be implicated.
Other lines of defense. By examining the details of the incident, including the defendant’s side of the story, an astute and strategically minded defense attorney can build a viable case in favor of the client.Possible Sentence
The presiding judge will consider the crime committed, details of the crime, the convicted person’s criminal history, and the person’s background to determine an appropriate sentence.
Imprisonment. A person convicted of criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument is subject to sentencing for a Class A misdemeanor which carries a sentence of up to one year in prison.
Probation. In addition to imprisonment, the judge could order three years of probation.NY Penal Code § 220.45: Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument
To reiterate, a person is guilty of criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument or needle when that person unlawfully and knowingly has in their possession or sells a hypodermic syringe or needle. A person is not guilty of criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument or needle when that person has a prescription from a medical practitioner for the instrument or obtains the instrument legally per section 3381 of the NY public health law.Lawyer to Defend Against the Charge of Criminal Possession of a Hypodermic Instrument
Even though a charge of criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument is not as serious a drug crime as many others, the prospect of spending even a year in prison and the follow-on probationary period will wreak havoc in a person’s life. If you are charged with this offense or any controlled substance crime, you should seek legal counsel immediately.
Barry C. Weiss P.C. is a dedicated and well qualified law firm that expertly defends clients accused of the criminal possession of a hypodermic instrument. The Elliot Adler PC law firm has defended clients accused of felony and misdemeanor controlled substance and drug crimes in New York State, and has been their stalwart advocate. Moreover, the Elliot Adler PC law firm has ardently defended clients charged with drug crimes, including the sale or possession of marijuana, OxyContin, Vicodin, crack, cocaine, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, PCP, and other controlled substances and drug crimes.
We can be reached at (212) 785-1300 or newyorkcriminallawyer24-7.com to schedule a no-obligation, free legal consultative meeting to evaluate your case.Related Offenses
For additional information, refer to the following sections of the New York Penal Code:
- Criminal possession in the first degree of methamphetamine manufacturing material: § 220.71
- Criminal possession in the second degree of methamphetamine manufacturing material: § 220.70
- Criminal possession of controlled substances precursors: § 220.60
- Criminally using in the second degree drug paraphernalia: § 220.50
- Criminal narcotic drug injection: § 220.48
Hypodermic needle of possession
80.131 Prescription, sale and possession of hypodermic syringes and hypodermic needles.
(a) For purposes of this section, "prescription" shall have the same meaning as provided in section 3302 of the public health law, as supplemented by the meaning provided in section 3381 of the public health law. It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or furnish, to any other person or persons, or to possess, a hypodermic syringe, hypodermic needle, or a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle pre-filled with a non-controlled substance, except:
(1) pursuant to a prescription; or
(2) such sale, furnishing or possession has been authorized by the commissioner; or
(3) pursuant to Section 80.137 of this Part.
(b) Subject to the provisions of this section, a practitioner may orally prescribe or authorize a refill, and an employee of the prescribing practitioner, or a health care professional in a Residential Health Care Facility (RHCF) who is licensed by the state education department pursuant to the education law, may orally communicate a prescription or refill for, one or more hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles. Subject to the provisions this section, a pharmacist may dispense, to an ultimate user, such hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles; provided, however, the pharmacist shall:
(1) contemporaneously reduce such oral prescription to a written or electronic memorandum indicating the name, address and telephone number of the prescriber, the name, address, and age of the ultimate user, date on which the hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle was ordered, quantity prescribed, directions for use, the name and strength of the drug, if applicable, number of refills authorized, the signature or readily identifiable initials of the pharmacist accepting the oral memorandum and documenting the fact that it is a telephone order;
(2) indicate on the memoranda the date filled and the number of the prescription under which it is recorded in the pharmacy prescription file, and sign or electronically sign the memorandum; and
(3) make a good faith effort to verify the identity of the practitioner and the practitioner's employee or RHCF professional, if applicable, and the ultimate user, if not known to the pharmacist.
(c) A prescription for one or more hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles shall include:
(1) the name, address and age of the ultimate user;
(2) the name, address, telephone number and signature or electronic signature of the practitioner;
(3) the date on which it was issued; and
(4) the name, and strength of the drug, if applicable, the directions for use, the quantity of the hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles prescribed, and the number of authorized refills.
(d) Any pharmacist selling or furnishing a hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle pursuant to a prescription shall record upon the prescription, his or her signature or, as applicable, electronic signature, and the date of the sale or furnishing of the hypodermic syringe or hypodermic needle. Prescriptions and oral prescription memorandums shall be retained on file for a period of five years and be readily accessible for inspection by any public officer or employee engaged in the enforcement of this section. A prescription may be refilled not more than the number of times specifically authorized by the prescriber upon the prescription; provided, however, no such authorization shall be effective for a period longer than two years from the date the prescription is signed.
(e) A pharmacist receiving an oral authorization for the refill of a prescription for one or more hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles shall enter on the original prescription or electronic record maintained on an electronic data processing system, the date, time, and name of the authorizing practitioner and the name of the practitioner’s employee or RHCF professional, if applicable, and shall sign or electronically sign such record.
(f) Pharmacists at registered pharmacies may, at the express request and approval of a patient or a person authorized to act on behalf of the patient, and subject to the requirements of 8 NYCRR Section 63.6(8), transfer information relating to a prescription for one or more hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles, including a prescription for one or more hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles pre-filled with a non-controlled substance, or accept a transfer of such information from another registered pharmacy or a pharmacy authorized to do business in another jurisdiction for the exclusive purpose of providing one authorized refill per transfer.
(g) Any prescription for one or more hypodermic syringes or hypodermic needles prefilled with a controlled substance shall be issued and dispensed according to the requirements as set forth in 80.67, 80.68, 80.69, 80.70, 80.73 and 80.74 of this Part.
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