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Here’s Why You Need An Attorney For A Misdemeanor Charge In New York


Crimes in New York are categorized into “misdemeanors” and “felonies.” Misdemeanors are considered less serious than felonies. There are also offenses that are known as “violations” in New York. Violations are not crimes.

So, what exactly is a misdemeanor crime? A misdemeanor crime in New York is any crime that carries a possible jail term of more than 15 days but no more than one year. Misdemeanors in New York fall under two categories; Class A misdemeanors and Class B misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanors are the more serious misdemeanors.

Class A Misdemeanors

Examples of class A misdemeanors include;

  • Assault in the third degree
  • Petit larceny
  • Fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon
  • Computer tampering in the fourth degree
  • Coercion in the second degree
  • Bail jumping in the third degree
  • Conspiracy in the third degree
  • Criminal trespass in the third degree
  • Criminal nuisance in the second degree
  • Cemetery desecration in the third degree
  • Aggravating harassment in the second degree

Class A misdemeanors in New York carry potential penalties such as a jail term of up to one year, three years’ probation, and a fine of up to $1,000 (or twice the amount the individual gained from the crime).

Class B Misdemeanors

Examples of class B misdemeanors include;

  • Conspiracy in the sixth degree
  • Issuing a bad check
  • Criminal tampering in the third degree
  • Menacing in the third degree
  • Harassment in the first degree
  • Possession of graffiti instruments
  • Prostitution
  • Reckless endangerment of property
  • Fourth-degree stalking
  • Public lewdness

Class B misdemeanors in New York carry potential penalties such as a jail term of up to three months, one-year probation, and a fine of up to $500 (or double the amount the individual gained from the crime).

Why You Need an Attorney for a Misdemeanor Charge in New York

Because a misdemeanor conviction carries a lighter sentence than a felony, you may be inclined to think that a misdemeanor charge is not a serious charge. As noted from the above sections, a misdemeanor conviction can land you in jail and result in you paying huge fines of up to $1,000. A misdemeanor conviction will also result in a criminal record.

Unfortunately, a misdemeanor conviction can also affect your life in many other ways that go beyond a criminal record, jail time, and fines. If convicted of a misdemeanor, your family, personal, social, and even professional life might suffer. For example, when it comes to your professional life, a misdemeanor conviction can ruin your chances of getting employed in the future. Some employers conduct background checks when hiring. If an employer discovers you were convicted of a misdemeanor, they may refuse to hire you.

If you are not an American citizen, being convicted of a misdemeanor could lead to you becoming subject to deportation or removal, being denied entry to the United States, or being denied naturalization.

Hence, if you are facing a misdemeanor charge in New York, it is crucial that you take your charges seriously. You need to hire an attorney who can help you fight those charges and avoid the negative consequences of a misdemeanor conviction.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing a misdemeanor charge in New York City or anywhere in New York, contact the experienced NYC criminal defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, Esq. at 212-732-0002 today to discuss your case.



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