NY Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal Charges

If you are accused of a crime in New York, you face prosecution under the New York State criminal code, which is considered among the toughest in the county.

In is understandable that you are concerned about what could happen to you, and what your future holds if you are convicted of a criminal charge. However, it is nearly impossible for the average person to read the criminal laws as written, and have any understanding of how they might apply in a real life situation in court.

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Please contact our attorneys for a free case evaluation about the real consequences you are likely to face, and how we can help defend you, and get the best outcome possible.

New York State Criminal Charges

One of the most important factors in your sentence is the classification of the offense you’ve been charged with. Under New York law, crimes are classified by their seriousness. The statutes then dictate the potential sentence based on this classification and your criminal record.

The three classifications of offenses under New York Criminal Statues are Felony Offenses, Misdemeanor Offenses, and Violations.

New York Violations

Violations are the least serious of offenses and are not actually considered “crimes”. Despite this, they still carry up to 15 days in jail. In most cases, a violation will result in a fine and perhaps community service.

New York Misdemeanors

Misdemeanors are split into categories “A” and “B” under New York law. An “A” misdemeanor is considered the more serious of the two and carries up to one year in jail. A “B” misdemeanor, on the other hand, carries up to 90 days in jail.

New York Felonies

Felonies are the most serious of criminal offenses. They are also broken down in a more complex manner than misdemeanors. Not only are they graded by letter, from A to E, the resulting penalties are also increased dependent on your criminal history.

A-I felonies are the most serious of all and this category includes murder. Felonies are separated by their violence as well. Assault in the First Degree and Grand Larceny are both B felonies. But 1st Degree Assault is considered a “B Violent Felony” and Grand Larceny is a B Non-Violent Felony”.

Felony Penalties

A-I 15 years to life in prison
A-II Up to life in prison
B Up to 25 years
C Up to 15 years
D Up to 7 years
E Up to 4 years


For each felony classification there is a sentencing range. Your criminal history determines where within this range you will be sentenced. If you have no prior criminal history or if you have no convictions within the last ten years, you will be sentenced within the lowest possible range.

If you have a prior non-violent felony conviction within the past 10 years, you will be sentenced in the mid-range. If you have a previous violent conviction within the past 10 years, you will be sentenced within the highest range. If you have two or more previous felony convictions, you could be classified as a persistent felony offender and be sentenced to life in prison.

Criminal Sentencing in New York State

Once convicted, you face sentencing. This is where you learn your fate and can be the scariest part of the criminal justice process. There are many things that play into determining your sentence, from your criminal history to the determination of the prosecutor and the specific judge on your case. Your defense lawyer doesn’t stop working after the trial, however. They are there throughout the sentencing procedures too—ensuring you get the best results possible given your unique set of circumstances.

Pre-Sentence Investigation

When determining how best to sentence you, a judge doesn’t simply pick a number within the prescribed range. Instead, they use a great deal of information about your life and your offense too. Prior to sentencing, a pre-sentence investigation will be conducted and the subsequent report will be delivered to the judge to help them make their sentencing decisions.

What’s included on the presentence report? While these reports vary from person to person, they can contain a wealth of information including:

  • Criminal History
  • Mental Health
  • Drug Abuse and Alcohol Abuse History
  • Sentencing recommendation
  • Employment
  • Residential Information
  • Education
  • Family Information

The presentence report is helpful to the judge when determining whether or not you would be a good candidate for probation or other incarceration alternatives. While the recommendation on the report isn’t always followed, it is usually made by a probation officer whose experience and opinion may be well respected by the judge.

For more information on potential sentencing in a New York Criminal case, contact us for a consultation.