Crimes Against Public Order: New York Penal Law Article 240
Crimes Against Public Order, New York Penal Law Article 240.20, include violations, misdemeanors and felonies. The types of offenses impacting public order may not technically be classified as “violent,” but they run the gamut of behaviors and acts. From Disorderly Conduct, a violation, to First Degree Aggravated Interference with Health Care Services, a class “C” felony, some of these offenses will without question expose you to incarceration while others will be more of a hinderance, embarrassment and potentially cause other collateral consequences. Regardless, because an arrest has both immediate and long-term implications, consulting with your criminal defense attorney to ascertain the best defense to any misdemeanor is critical. Have no misgivings. Whether or not you are jailed on Rikers Island, have to deal with an order of protection in favor of your accuser or your must report your arrest to your employer, you will have questions and issues that require an immediate response. In fact, your career and employment may demand as much. Before your precarious legal situation goes from bad to worse, take the initiative to identify and implement your best defense to a Crime Against Public Order.
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Some of the more common misdemeanor crimes and violations that may be processed post-arrest in New York City through a Desk Appearance Ticket, but can be prosecuted through any legal means, are as follows:
- Second Degree Aggravated Harassment: NY Penal Law 240.30
- First Degree Harassment: NY Penal Law 240.25
- Second Degree Falsely Reporting an Incident: NY Penal Law 240.55
- Third Degree Falsely Reporting an Incident: NY Penal Law 240.50
- Second Degree Criminal Interference with Health Care Services or Religious Worship: NY Penal Law 240.70
Not all Crimes Against Public Order, the above statutes address some of the more common misdemeanors. Each one of these offenses have a higher degree crime with far more grave consequences, but by no means should you interpret that as insinuating these misdemeanors are insignificant. In fact, prosecutors can draft criminal complaints as they chose and charge felonies, misdemeanors and violations as they deem appropriate, but know that each of the crimes listed here carries the potential for jail and a life-long criminal record. Not addressed among these Crimes Against Public Order, however, are other commonly charged and lesser infractions. Still worthy of review and counsel, these offenses include Disorderly Conduct, New York Penal Law 240.20, and Second Degree Harassment, New York Penal Law 240.26.
What is of critical import should you find yourself self under arrest in New York City – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx – or elsewhere in the Hudson Valley – Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess and Orange counties – is that a conviction for any misdemeanor is ineradicable. In terms of your criminal record, future employment, professional licensing and certification, and legal status, you will answer to a conviction in perpetuity. Life altering if not handled properly? Absolutely.
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While the potential sentences for any of these crimes are statutorily regulated, if you have no prior criminal record nor arrest history, the first thing on your mind should not be whether or not you will end up incarcerated in the Westchester County Jail or Rikers Island for four, eight or twelve months as the law allows. Similarly, while a class “E” felony can land you in a cold dank prison cell for up to four years, in many cases where the accused is otherwise unblemished, the bigger issues are avoiding the “tattoo” or “Scarlet Letter” of a conviction along with a judge possibly setting bail to secure your return to court. What may have started out as a misunderstanding and devolved due to one bad decision after another shouldn’t define you for the rest of your days or adversely impact your family.
At bottom, whether you are completely innocent, and you are until and if proven otherwise, or you committed a crime or crimes with overwhelming and unfavorable evidence, you have rights. With the assistance of your New York criminal defense attorney you can potentially walk away from an arrest processed by a Desk Appearance Ticket or one where law enforcement drags you through Central Booking and holds you in the Tombs for what seems like a lifetime. Whatever the situation, exercise your rights and change the trajectory of your criminal case. Know that whether exoneration through advocating with exculpatory evidence or mitigating conduct to lessen your exposure to a criminal record, you have options if you make the right decisions.
Day or night, Crotty Saland PC’s criminal defense attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors are available to not merely assist you, but use their experience, knowledge and advocacy to put your horrific experience in the rearview mirror. Your best defense is waiting. Seize it.
Call us at 212.312.7129 or contact us online today to speak with our New York attorneys and former Manhattan prosecutors.