Second Degree Criminal Interference with Health Care Services or Religious Worship

If you mistakenly and naively believe that because Second Degree Criminal Interference with Health Care Services or Religious Worship, New York Penal Law 240.70, is a misdemeanor and is therefore not that serious, you have not merely set yourself up for horrendous failure, but a life altering criminal conviction. You can choose to heed this message from a criminal defense attorney or you can personify regret in perpetuity.

NY Penal Law 240.70: Understanding the Crime

While it is the lowest or least severe Health Care Services or Religious Worship Interference crime, its elements can still be quite confusing. In substance, you are guilty of New York Penal Law 240.70 and can face up to as much as one year in jail if you do the following:

  1. Through force or by a threat of the same, or by some form of physical obstruction, you intentionally injure, intimidate, or interfere with another person because he or she was or is obtaining or providing reproductive health services. An attempt violates this statute as well; or
  2. Through force or by a threat of the same, or by some form of physical obstruction, you intentionally injure, intimidate, or interfere with another person in order to discourage him or her or any other person from obtaining or providing reproductive health services; An attempt violates this statute as well; or
  3. Through force or by a threat of the same, or by some form of physical obstruction, you intentionally injure, intimidate, or interfere with another person because he or she was or is seeking to exercise the right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship; An attempt violates this statute as well; or
  4. Intentionally damage the property of a health care facility, or attempt to do so, because the particular facility provides reproductive health services. Alternatively, you intentionally damage the property of a place of worship.

Keep in mind that many of the terms mentioned in the statute including “health care facility,” “interferes with,” “intimidates,” “physical obstruction” and “reproductive health services” all have definitions outlined within the New York Penal Law. While on their respective faces these words and their meanings seem clear, it is of critical import to vet and understand them based on a consultation with your own criminal defense attorney.

New York Penal Law 240.70: Other Important Issues and Concerns

While no misdemeanor is small, it is certainly conceivable and somewhat likely that a prosecution for Second Degree Criminal Interference with Health Care Services or Religious Worship will involve other criminal conduct. For example, if you damage property at a church, mosque or hospital, you could face misdemeanor of felony crimes relating to Criminal Mischief. Moreover, if you cause a physical injury or serious physical injury and intend to do the same or use some form of a weapon to inflict such damage to another person, then you likely would face misdemeanor or felony charges of Third, Second or First Degree Assault. Simply, there are a litany of crimes that could be added onto a criminal court complaint or indictment that reflect not only the conduct established by this statute, but additional offenses as well.

New York Penal Law 240.70: Your Defense

Just like any accusation, the foundation of your defense and the best defense you can present depends on the evidence and your attorney’s ability to synthesize that evidence in a coherent manner. What is admissible? What is not admissible? What can you secure before it is destroyed? Are there any witnesses that could come to your aid? Were you caught at the scene or location in a criminal act or did the police find you after the fact? Were statements taken from you or searches of your home, phone, computer or person done in violation of your rights? Too many questions to ask, your best defense starts as soon as you can retain the best criminal defense lawyer.

Don’t waste time due to fear of the unknown. Don’t risk losing the ability to secure evidence or even mitigate conduct. Your future is on the line. Let the criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC utilize their experience, knowledge and advocacy to put you in the best place to minimize your exposure, exonerate you, or keep you from incarceration.

Call us at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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