In New York State there are three classifications of offenses. Violations, Misdemeanors & Felonies
A Violation, includes most Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) offenses as well as the following 17 Penal Law Offenses:
- Appearance in public under the influence of narcotics or a drug other than alcohol 240.40
- Criminal solicitation in the fifth degree 100.00
- Disorderly conduct 240.20
- Exposure of a person 245.01
- Failing to respond to an appearance ticket 215.58
- Harassment in the second degree 240.26
- Hazing in the second degree 120.17
- Loitering 240.35
- Loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense 240.37
- Misconduct by a juror in the second degree 215.28
- Offensive exhibition 245.05
- Promoting the exposure of a person 245.02
- Trespass 140.05
- Unlawful possession of certain ammunition feeding devices (1st offense/home) 265.37
- Unlawful possession of marihuana 221.05
- Unlawful prevention of public access to records 240.65
- Unlawfully posting advertisements 145.30
Violations are not Criminal Acts under New York Law. However, many Violations carry a sentence of up to 15 days imprisonment. Violation offenses also exist in the Alcoholic Beverage Control law (ABC), Criminal Procedure Law (CPL) and the Family Court Act (FAC).
Misdemeanors are Criminal offenses in New York State. Thus, a person convicted of a Misdemeanor will always have a criminal record. Sentences range from sixteen (16) days to one (1) year inceration in the County Jail.
There are three categories of Misdemeanors under New York law.
A Misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of up to one (1) year incarceration and/or a period of probation for up to three (3) years. In addition, a fine of up to $1000.00 or twice the amount of the defendant’s gain from their criminal act.
B Misdemeanors carry a maximum sentence of up to three (3) months incarceration and/or a period of probation for up to one (1) year for MOST B Misdemeanors. In addition, a fine of up to $500.00 or double the amount of the defendant’s gain from their criminal act.
Unclassified Misdemeanors generally are found in New York State Vehicle and Traffic Laws and like Class A Misdemeanors they carry a maximum sentence of up to one (1) year incarceration and/or a period of probation for up to three (3) years.
Felonies are the most serious Criminal offenses in New York State. There are nine different classifications of Felonies that range from A-E (with C-E having separate violent or non-violent categories). An “A” is the most serious criminal act that carries a sentence of up to life imprisonment, the least is an “E” (non-violent) felony that has a minimum sentence of 1 1/3 year probation with no incarceration period.
The most serious Felony criminal offenses include acts such as: Murder, Arson, Rape, Kidnapping, Burglary and Escape from custody.