Felony and Misdemeanor Coercion Defense
Some crimes in the New York Penal Law have “built in” statutorily identified defenses. Others not only fail to provide these defenses but limit your ability to pursue certain strategies. Regardless of whether your defense relies on an affirmative defense or one that you formulate with your counsel, the available evidence and your criminal defense attorney’s ability to advocate on your behalf will dictate your legal approach to a Coercion charge. Simply, both identifying and implementing your best defense and path to exoneration or the minimization of your criminal exposure will fall on the shoulders of your New York Coercion lawyer, but also involve the synthesis of many factors. If you are arrested in New York City or the Hudson Valley for or charged with First Degree Coercion, New York Penal Law 135.60, or Second Degree Coercion, New York Penal Law 135.65, be sure to retain the attorney who can best assess the allegations and evidence to serve as your advocate.
The New York Penal Law provides legal guidelines for defenses to Coercion that don’t merely rely on your counsel’s creativity that may or may not be applicable in your arrest, indictment or trial. For example, New York Penal Law 135.70 specifically states that if you are charged with receiving a bribe it is not a defense to your arrest, nor can you argue, that you cannot also face prosecution for Coercion because the offenses stem from same set of facts. Obviously, such a “non-defense” is not applicable in all Coercion arrests and instead is unique to situations where you are charged with Bribe Receiving and a degree of Coercion. Fortunately, this legally impermissible challenge to Coercion is quite limited.Defense to Coercion: NY Penal Law 135.75
New York Penal Law 135.75 adds another layer of a potential defense to those accused of Coercion where the accusation is that you instilled in your victim a fear that he or she would be charged with a crime. Solely in these cases, it is an affirmative defense that you reasonably believed the threatened charge was true and the sole purpose was to compel the target of your 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 defendant, 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 aw, 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 preserved evidence corroborating the allegations against you or will the case 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 that defense forward you will find yourself in a precarious situation.
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Jail or prison is no place to be. A criminal record does you and your family no good at all. Protect yourself from the loss of your professional licenses, career and ability to remain legally in the United State. Whether you face felony or misdemeanor prosecution in New York City or in the Hudson Valley counties of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Rockland and Orange, know that the steps you take today will influence the trajectory of your life now and in the future. Do not hesitate of allow yourself to succumb to fear. Now is the time to let the advocacy, knowledge and experience of the Coercion lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland serve as your guide.
Call our criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today