Like most states, New York divides criminal offenses into two different
categories: misdemeanors and
felonies. While most people understand that felonies are more serious than misdemeanors,
their understanding of their differences usually ends there. Depending
on whether a person has been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, their
potential penalties could vary between a few months to several years in prison.
In New York, offenses which are punishable by a minimum of 15 days in jail
and a maximum of one year in jail and $1,000 in fines are classified as
misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are further divided into three subclasses:
Class A, Class B, and unclassified misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors
are more serious than Class B misdemeanors, with unclassified misdemeanors
including offenses that are both more and less serious. Unclassified misdemeanors
are punished with fines or jail time as required by the offense’s
specific law or ordinance.
Examples of misdemeanors in each category are as follows:
Class A misdemeanors: Third-degree identity theft, carrying a gun without a permit, petit larceny,
and second-degree criminal impersonation.
Class B misdemeanors: Prostitution, unlawful assembly, fortune-telling, and issuing a bad check.
Unclassified misdemeanors: first-time
driving while intoxicated (DWI), aggravated unlicensed driving, and reckless driving.
Felonies, on the other hand, are far more serious and carry criminal sentences
in excess of 1 year in state prison. Like misdemeanors, felonies are broken
up into subclasses of Class A through E, with Class A felonies potentially
resulting in life imprisonment. Class A felonies are further divided into
Class A-I and Class A-II. Convicted felons lose the right to vote, are
likely to lose certain professional licenses issued by the State, and
are unable to seek professional licenses. While any criminal conviction
can permanently taint a person’s reputation and career, felony convictions
are particularly damaging in this regard.
Charged with a Crime? Call The Portela Law Firm, P.C.
If you have been accused of a crime, your chances of securing a favorable
outcome are only as strong as the
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To find out how we can assist you with your case, call us today at (212) 577-9312.