March 7, 2014 – According to Senator LaValle, the State Senate passed legislation to increase penalties for drug dealers who sell to children. The bill (S988A) strengthens the felony charges for the sale of drugs by an adult to a child under the age of 14.
“There have been reports of the rise in the use of heroin and other opiate-related drugs by teens and young adults. We need to strengthen penalties to put offenders behind bars, and prevent them from further harming our children. This measure is one of many steps we will take to keep the dealers off the street.” said Senator LaValle. He continued, “I will continue to support legislation that protects our children.”
Under current law, anyone over the age of 21 who sells a controlled substance to a minor under the age of 17 can be charged with a class B felony. However, the law does not contain an enhanced penalty for selling a controlled substance to younger children. The bill passed today creates the new crime of criminal sale of a controlled substance to a child in the first degree. Adults over the age 18 who sell a controlled substance to a minor under the age of 14 would be charged with a class A-II felony.
The bill was transferred to the NYS Assembly for consideration.
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