Felony and Misdemeanor Coercion Defense

Some crimes in the New York Penal Law have “built in” statutorily identified defenses. Others do not. Regardless, defenses are based on the available evidence and your criminal defense attorney will ascertain what he or she believe is the strongest defense to argue whether you are arrested for First Degree Coercion or Second Degree Coercion.

  • Second Degree Coercion: NY Penal Law 135.60
  • First Degree Coercion: NY Penal Law 135.65

The New York Penal Law does provide legal guidelines for defense to Coercion. For example, New York Penal Law 135.70 specifically states that where you are charged with receiving a bribe you cannot defend yourself by arguing that because your Coercion arrest stems from the same set of facts that you cannot be charged with both offenses. Obviously, these circumstance do not cover all Coercion arrests and are unique to those involving bribes.

New York Penal Law 135.75 also adds another layer of defense to those accused of Coercion where the accusation is that the accused instilled in his or her victim that the victim or another would be charged with a crime. Solely in these cases, it is an affirmative defense that the accused reasonably believed the threatened charge was true and the sole purpose was to compel the target of his acts to take reasonable steps to rectify the wrong that was the basis of the threatened charge. Because an affirmative defense is one that you, the accused, must prove, consult with your criminal lawyer immediately so that you are prepared to meet this burden at trial should your case reach that point.

Irrespective of whether or not your defense is founded in a statute or a product of evidence, common sense or a law, diligence is critical. Are there prior communications from the alleged victim reflecting that there was no fear on his or her part? Are their records or any other preservation of evidence reflecting that your conduct matches the allegations or will this boil down to a “he said - she said”? Regardless of the defensive tactics you utilize, there is one constant. If you fail to identify your defense and move that defense forward you will find yourself in a precarious situation.

Jail or prison is no place to be. A criminal record does you and your family no good at all. Protect yourself. Now is the time to let advocacy, knowledge and experience by your guide.

Call our criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today

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