New York Crimes
People accused of crimes in New York and their families are often unclear about what the charges are, or even if they are informed of the charges are unclear as to what they mean. The information here will:
• help you get a sense of the seriousness of the crime by the offense level
• help you to get a very general sense of the potential sentences or punishments for the crime charged
In New York, crimes are divided into two significant categories: Felonies and Misdemeanors. Felonies are more serious, and are defined as offenses for which the possible sentence could be more than one year. Misdemeanors, while still considered crimes, are less serious. Misdemeanors are defined as offenses for which the possible sentence is one year or less.
Inside each category of felony or misdemeanor, there are further levels. Felonies are "graded" from A to E, with A felonies the most serious and E felonies the least serious. Furthermore, felonies are also identified as either violent or non-violent. More recently, drug felonies, while still considered non-violent, are now classified as "drug felonies" for purposes of sentencing.
Misdemeanors are graded "A", "B", or "U". A misdemeanors and U misdemeanors are treated the same for purposes of sentencing. B misdemeanors are less serious than A misdemeanors.
Calculating Potential Sentences in New York State
In the past, I have tried to present the means to get an idea of the potential sentences in criminal cases in New York. I have built charts and provided simple instructions on how to use them, but over time I have come to believe that this isn't really so useful. New York State sentencing is not so simple as to easily be reduced to an easy to use chart. More and more, there are exceptions and new rules that apply in certain situations but not others. Lately I have come to believe that the level of complexity of sentencing in New York has outstripped my ability to present it in any sort of compact way on the web.
Therefore, I have decided to remove my sort of simplified chart and its multitude of factors and possibilities that it could not account for.
Instead, I have prepared a page that offers specific examples of potential sentences that represent some of the most commonly charged offenses. Click Here. In this way, I can control the relevant factors that influence the sentencing possibilities.
In the end, any opinion about the sentencing possibilities for criminal charges in New York must come from a qualified New York criminal defense lawyer anyway. I can also offer a link to an excellent website maintained by the Yonkers Police Department that offers access to all the sentencing statutes and Penal law codes that relate to sentencing issues in New York. If you are inclined to wade into these statutes, go on in. But be sure ultimately to verify any opinion you may come to about sentencing possibilities with a criminal defense lawyer.
New York Crimes Information
If you are interested in seeing lists of crimes by their specific offense levels, click on an offense level below.