Bill S6725-2011

Increases the severity of larceny offenses when the property stolen is one or more controlled substances

Increases the severity of larceny offenses when the property stolen is one or more controlled substances.

Details

Actions

  • Jun 20, 2012: referred to codes
  • Jun 20, 2012: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Jun 20, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • Jun 4, 2012: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 31, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • May 30, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.938
  • Mar 13, 2012: REFERRED TO CODES

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Codes - May 30, 2012
Ayes (12): Saland, DeFrancisco, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Golden, Lanza, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Gianaris, Huntley, Squadron
Ayes W/R (2): Duane, Espaillat
Nays (2): Parker, Perkins

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6725

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the penal law, in relation to the theft of controlled substances

PURPOSE:

Increases the criminal penalties for the theft of controlled substances.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends §155.00 of the penal law by adding a new subdivision 10 defining for the purposes of this article controlled substances as any substance listed in the schedules outlined in §3306 of the public health law.

Section 2 makes technical corrections to §155.30 of the penal law and adds a new subdivision 12 that includes controlled substances to the list of property covered by this section.

Section 3 adds a subdivision 3 to §155.35 of the penal law stating that property consisting of controlled substances with the value of $1000 or above are covered under this section.

Section 4 amends paragraph c of subdivision 2 of §155.40 of the penal law by adding a new subdivision 3 stating that property consisting of controlled substances in the value of $3000 or above are covered under this section.

Section 5 amends §155.42 of the penal law by making technical corrections and adding a subdivision 2 stating that property consisting of controlled substances with the value of $50,000 or above are covered under this section.

Section 6 provides for an effective date on the first of November next succeeding the date on which the bill shall have become law.

JUSTIFICATION:

On June 19, 2011 four people, including a pharmacist, a 17-year old clerk, and two customers, aged 71 and 33 were executed in a pharmacy in Medford, Long Island, by two suspects that robbed the pharmacy in order to get their hands on hydrocodone pills. On December 31, 2011, an off-duty Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATM) agent and an alleged robber were killed when an attempted robbery at a pharmacy in Seaford, Long Island ended in a shoot-out. The robber is said to have demanded money and oxycontin from the pharmacists. These two deadly incidents are just two of the most shocking cases

highlighting the increase in crime and violence directed towards pharmacies that have resulted from the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

The increase in crimes against pharmacies has been nationwide. Between 2006 and 2010, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), robberies rose from 380 to 686, an increase of 79%. The number of pills went from 706,000 to 1.3 million. In New York State, according to the DEA, the increase in pharmacy robberies was from 4 in 2006 to 30 in 2010. The increase in violence has driven some pharmacies to stop stocking opioid analgesics and posting signs on their windows advertising this to deter possible robbers.

This bill would increase the possible penalties one would face for the theft of controlled substances. currently, penal law article 220 deals with crimes relating to the possession of controlled substances, with the different degrees of possible charges based on the quantities of certain chemical substances present in controlled substances. Any criminal possession of a controlled substance is a class A misdemeanor, with more serious charges being possible if a person happened to be in possession of larger quantities of specific drugs. This system gives prosecutors the ability to charge individuals that take illegal possession of certain prescription drugs, like opioid analgesics, with serious crimes, but for some other drugs, like depressants like Xanax the possible penalties are much lower.

This legislation changes the existing larceny statute and would make the theft of any controlled substance grand larceny in the fourth degree, which is a class E felony. For most kinds of goods one would have to steal $1000 worth of property by retail value before being able to be charged with felony grand larceny as opposed to petit larceny, which is a misdemeanor. Current law treats firearms, a credit or debit card, scientific secrets, or certain precursors for making methamphetamines differently by stating that the theft of these objects, regardless of retail value, constitutes grand larceny. Controlled substances should be treated similarly, since the dangers to the public and individuals from the misuse of controlled substances is such that the theft of any controlled substances merits a felony grand larceny charge. Raising the penalties for the theft of controlled prescription drugs is necessary given the social harm that is caused by their diversion into illicit use.

This legislation would also create a lower value threshold for controlled substances than for other property when it came to being able to bring forth grand larceny charges of a greater degree. For example, currently one must have stolen property of $3,000 or greater in order to be charged with grand larceny in the 3rd degree. This legislation would make the theft of controlled substances with a value of $1,000 or greater eligible for a charge of grand larceny in

the 3rd degree. Value thresholds would be lowered as well for the more severe degrees of grand larceny.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which the bill shall have become law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6725 IN SENATE March 13, 2012 ___________
Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Codes AN ACT to amend the penal law, in relation to the theft of controlled substances THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 155.00 of the penal law is amended by adding a new subdivision 10 to read as follows: 10. "CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE" MEANS ANY SUBSTANCE LISTED IN SCHEDULE I, II, III, IV OR V OF SECTION THIRTY-THREE HUNDRED SIX OF THE PUBLIC HEALTH LAW, OTHER THAN MARIHUANA AND CONCENTRATED CANNABIS. S 2. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 9, and subdivisions 10 and 11 of section 155.30 of the penal law, paragraph (b) of subdivision 9 as amended by chapter 479 of the laws of 2010, subdivision 10 as added by chapter 491 of the laws of 1992 and subdivision 11 as added by chapter 394 of the laws of 2005, are amended and a new subdivision 12 is added to read as follows: (b) is kept for or used in connection with religious worship in any building, structure or upon the curtilage of such building or structure used as a place of religious worship by a religious corporation, as incorporated under the religious corporations law or the education law[.]; OR 10. The property consists of an access device which the person intends to use unlawfully to obtain telephone service[.]; OR 11. The property consists of anhydrous ammonia or liquified ammonia gas and the actor intends to use, or knows another person intends to use, such anhydrous ammonia or liquified ammonia gas to manufacture methamphetamine[.]; OR 12. THE PROPERTY CONSISTS OF ONE OR MORE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES. S 3. Section 155.35 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 464 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: S 155.35 Grand larceny in the third degree. A person is guilty of grand larceny in the third degree when he or she steals property and:
1. when the value of the property exceeds three thousand dollars[,]; or 2. the property is an automated teller machine or the contents of an automated teller machine[.]; OR 3. WHEN THE PROPERTY CONSISTS OF ONE OR MORE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND THE RETAIL VALUE THEREOF EXCEEDS ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS. Grand larceny in the third degree is a class D felony. S 4. Paragraph (c) of subdivision 2 of section 155.40 of the penal law, as amended by chapter 515 of the laws of 1986, is amended and a new subdivision 3 is added to read as follows: (c) use or abuse his OR HER position as a public servant by engaging in conduct within or related to his OR HER official duties, or by fail- ing or refusing to perform an official duty, in such manner as to affect some person adversely[.]; OR 3. THE PROPERTY CONSISTS OF ONE OR MORE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND THE RETAIL VALUE THEREOF EXCEEDS THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS. S 5. Section 155.42 of the penal law, as added by chapter 515 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: S 155.42 Grand larceny in the first degree. A person is guilty of grand larceny in the first degree when he OR SHE steals property and when [the]: 1. THE value of the property exceeds one million dollars; OR 2. THE PROPERTY CONSISTS OF ONE OR MORE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND THE RETAIL VALUE THEREOF EXCEEDS FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. Grand larceny in the first degree is a class B felony. S 6. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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