Unlawful Imprisonment: NY Penal Law 135.05 and 135.10

There is a very tight rope to walk between Unlawful Imprisonment and Kidnapping in New York. While the county police in Rockland or Westchester may charge you with one crime over the other or First Degree Unlawful Imprisonment when the applicable charge, if true, should involve an arrest for Second Degree Unlawful Imprisonment, one thing holds true. Irrespective of which degree of Unlawful Imprisonment you find yourself investigated for or charged with and regardless of whether you are in a New York City criminal court or a justice court in the Hudson Valley, Unlawful Imprisonment is a terrifying crime to face.

Should you find yourself prosecute for Unlawful Imprisonment in New York, your criminal defense lawyer or criminal defense team will no doubt explain the legal process, the differences between the degrees of Unlawful Imprisonment and what he or she believes is your best defense to limit the direct and collateral consequences of your arrest.

Unlawful Imprisonment Penalties

As a preliminary matter, elements of each crime and the evidence in your case aside, the potential punishment for the degrees of Unlawful Imprisonment is alarming. Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree, New York Penal Law 135.10, is a class "E" felony punishable by up to four years in state prison. Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law 135.05, is an "A" misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. If you are arrested in New York City, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan or the Bronx, this one year would be spent on Rikers Island, one of the most notorious jails in the United States. That said, the Westchester County Jail, Putnam County Jail, Dutchess County Jail and Rockland County Jail are not far behind.

Elements of Unlawful Imprisonment

Whether you are charged with Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree or Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree, there is a critical element that each crime shares. This element is in the term “restrain.” “Restrain,” according to New York Penal Law 135.00(1), generally means to intentionally and unlawfully restrict a person's movement. This restraint must substantially interfere with that person's liberty by either confinement or moving from one place to another.

  • Unlawful Imprisonment in the Second Degree: NY PL 135.05
  • Unlawful Imprisonment in the First Degree: NY PL 135.10

While you should have an in depth conversation with your New York criminal lawyer in the event you are investigated, arrested or indicted for any degree of Unlawful Imprisonment, keep the following in mind. To secure a conviction for the base level or misdemeanor Second Degree Unlawful Imprisonment, New York Penal Law 135.05, you must restrain another person. The more serious felony offense of New York Penal Law 135.10, First Degree Unlawful Imprisonment, is perpetrated when you restrain another person and the circumstance of that restraint exposes the other person to a risk of serious physical injury. Just as with any crime involving “serious physical injury,” the type of injury that the District Attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt is one that could lead to impairment of health, disfigurement and even death.

If you find yourself immersed in a prosecution for Unlawful Imprisonment, make sure you recognize the significance of the crime or crimes you face. A criminal offense associated with significant wrongdoing, and rightfully so, before your career, livelihood or future is jeopardized by incarceration or a permanent record, contact the criminal lawyers at Crotty Saland PC so your best defense is one firmly routed in experience, knowledge and advocacy.

Call the criminal defense lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today to discuss your case and possible defenses.

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