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New York Misdemeanor Crimes: FAQ

What is the Penalty for a Misdemeanor in New York

In New York, misdemeanor crimes are classified as either A, B or unclassified. The respective penalties for these misdemeanors relate to the classification of the misdemeanor crime. The sentence for an A misdemeanor in New York can include up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, probation for two or three years, and/or a conditional discharge which can include the requirement to abide by certain conditions such as an Order of Protection or not being re-arrested.

The sentence for a B misdemeanor in New York can include up to 90 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, probation for one year, and/or a conditional discharge.

The sentence for an unclassified misdemeanor, such as VTL 511(1)(a), driving with a suspended license, varies by the particular offense, but typically includes the possibility of some amount of jail time of one year or less, a fine, and/or a conditional discharge.

What is a Misdemeanor in New York

A misdemeanor in New York is a criminal offense that is punishable by no more than a one year “definite” sentence which would be served in a local jail, not state prison. Misdemeanor convictions will give a person a criminal record in New York, but misdemeanors are less serious than felony convictions and typically carry with them fewer long-term consequences. While you can be sentenced on multiple misdemeanors to jail in excess of one year, an crime that allows for a sentence to go beyond a year is considered a felony.

Do Misdemeanors in New York Show up on a Background Check

Yes. In New York, misdemeanor convictions will typically show up on routine background checks by employers or law enforcement agencies. However, there are ways to seal the record of a past criminal conviction in New York in certain circumstances. To that end, NY CPL 160.59 allows a sentencing judge to seal your case as long as certain criteria is met.

Can You Seal a Misdemeanor in New York

Yes. As of October 2017, a person can ask a court to seal up to two criminal convictions of which either both can be misdemeanors, but only one can be a felony. Review New York’s conviction sealing statute, NY CPL 160.59, for further information. In addition, sealing of court records related to a misdemeanor charge is available to young people who are eligible to receive Youthful Offender status.

Can You go to Jail for a Misdemeanor in New York

Yes, and make no mistake about it. In New York, misdemeanors are punishable by a jail sentence. This can be up to 1 year in local jail (Rikers Island in NYC) for a class “A” misdemeanor, or up to 90 days in jail for a class “B” misdemeanor. Non-criminal violations, such as Disorderly Conduct, are also punishable by up to 15 days in jail.

What are Some Examples of Misdemeanors in New York

Some of the most commonly charged misdemeanors in New York are Petit Larceny, PL 155.25, as it relates to shoplifting, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, cocaine, ecstasy, Molly, heroin, etc., PL 220.03, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree, PL 265.01, gravity knives, and Assault in the Third Degree, PL 120.00.

Call the New York State criminal defense lawyers and former New York City prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

Client Reviews
... I was facing a class B felony and potentially tens of thousands in fines and some legit jail time and after hiring Jeremy Saland he obviously struck enough fear into the prosecutors with his sheer litigation might that it was knocked down to a petty misdemeanor and after a few sheckles and a handful of counseling sessions, I will no longer have a criminal record. The offices of Saland Law are the Shaq and Kobe of criminal defense in New York City and to even consider another firm is outright blasphemy. I stand by this statement 100% Evan
Let me start by saying how amazing Liz Crotty is! I am a resident of California, who needed representation for my son who received a desk citation while he was visiting NYC. Liz jumped on the case right away; she was very thorough in explaining things to me. She is strictly business too! She went to court on my son's behalf and had his case dismissed. I am forever grateful to her. Seana G.
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