What Is a Class A Felony in New York?
Being charged with any felony crime in New York is a serious thing. However, some felony crimes are considered more serious than others. In New York, Class A felonies are considered the most serious out of all the classes of felonies. The other classes of felonies are Class B, C, D, and E. In terms of severity level, after Class A felonies, there are Class B, C, D, and then E felonies. If you are facing Class A felony charges in New York, it is crucial that you retain a skilled criminal defense attorney. An attorney with experience handling Class A felony cases can help you challenge the charges against you.
Examples of Class A Felonies in New York
As mentioned already, Class A felonies are considered the most serious crimes in New York, meaning they carry the harshest penalties. In New York, Class A felonies are classified into two: A-I and A-II felonies. A-I felonies are considered more serious than A-II felonies, meaning the potential penalties for A-I felonies are more severe than those for A-II felonies. However, regardless of whether you are facing A-I or A-II felony charges, it is vital that you engage a defense attorney. Prosecutors and the police take these crimes very seriously.
The following are examples of Class A-I felonies in New York;
- Aggravated murder
- Kidnapping in the first degree
- First-degree murder
- Second-degree murder
- Conspiracy in the first-degree
- Operating as a major trafficker
- Arson in the first degree
- First-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance
The following are examples of Class A-II felonies in New York;
- Predatory sexual assault
- Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the second-degree
- Predatory sexual assault against a child
Before a criminal defendant can be convicted of a Class A felony crime, the prosecutor must meet very specific requirements. The prosecutor is required to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutor must convince jury members that there is no other reasonable explanation that can be derived from the evidence presented. If the prosecutor is unable to prove any element of the crime, the defendant cannot be convicted. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you challenge the prosecutor’s evidence or present defenses.
Potential Penalties of Class A Felonies in New York
Class A felonies carry the most serious consequences. The specific penalties for Class A felonies in New York vary depending on the specifics of the crime but they include;
- A minimum jail sentence of between 15 and 25 years for Class A-I felonies, and between three years and eight years four months for Class A-II felonies
- A maximum jail sentence of life imprisonment
- A fine of up to $100,000 or more depending on the specifics of the crime
- Loss of certain civil rights, such as the right to vote and the right to possess firearms
It is crucial to mention that New York does not have the death penalty. However, it is crucial to note that a federal crime committed in New York could be subject to federal capital punishment.
Contact Us for Legal Help
If you are facing Class A felony charges in New York, contact our skilled and dedicated NYC criminal Attorney, Mark I. Cohen for legal help.