A New York criminal defense lawyer can explain that there is fine line between Unlawful Imprisonment and Kidnapping in the New York Penal Law. The difference, however, is enormous in terms of potential punishment. 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 and 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 will be spent on Rikers Island, one of the most notorious jails in the United States. The potential consequences for a Kidnapping conviction or significantly greater.
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 found 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 place to place.
- 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, New York Penal Law 135.05, is perpetrated when you restrain another person. The more serious felony offense of 135.10 is perpetrated when you restrain another person and the circumstance of that restraint exposes the other person to a risk of serious physical injury. It is important to note that the risk of injury not merely be any type of injury, but "serious physical injury" as defined by law. This level of injury is more than a black eye or broken nose and is the type of injury that could lead to impairment of health, disfigurement and even death.
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.