New York Felonies and Misdemeanors Explained

Felony vs. Misdemeanor

Many states, including New York, separate crimes into two groups; felonies and misdemeanors. The length of the sentence determines the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. Under Article 70 of the New York Penal Law, a felony can have a year or more, while a misdemeanor can have a sentence of 15 days to one year.

What are the Different Classes of Felonies? 

Felonies are broken into five sub-divisions ranging from Class ‘A’ to ‘E’. Class A felonies are the most serious, while class E felonies are the least serious. Felonies are prosecuted by indictment voted on by a grand jury unless the defendant waives an indictment.

Are you facing a felony or misdemeanor charge in New York? Call our Poughkeepsie Criminal Defense Attorney today at (845) 209-1355 or contact us online to start your defense! 

    What is a Class A Felony in New York?

    Class A Felonies are the most serious class of felonies, resulting in lengthy prison sentences. Examples of a Class A felony include first and second-degree murder, arson in the first degree, and kidnapping in the first degree.

    What is a Class B Felony in New York?

    A Class B violent felony has sentencing of 5-25 years. Non-violent class B felonies carry a maximum sentence of nine years. Examples of a Class B felony include burglary in the first degreerape in the first degree, criminal possession, and/or sale of a controlled substance in the third degree.

    What is a Class C Felony in New York?

    A Class C violent felony has sentencing of 3.5 – 15 years. A Class C non-violent felony could result in no jail, probation, or 15 years in prison. Examples of a Class C felony include burglary in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and grand larceny in the second degree.

    What is a Class D Felony in New York?

    A Class D violent felony has sentencing of 2-7 years. A Class D non-violent felony could result in no jail, probation, or up to 7 years in prison. Examples of a Class D felony include assault in the second degree, robbery in the 3rd degree, forgery in the second degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, and felony DWI (3 in 10).

    What is a Class E Felony in New York?

    A Class E felony could result in no jail, probation, or up to 4 years in prison. Class E felonies include felony DWI (2 in 10), criminal contempt in the first degree, grand larceny in the 4th degree, and criminal mischief in the 3rd degree.

    It’s important to note that the above classifications are guidelines. Many factors are involved in sentencing, such as convictions, non-violent predicate, violent predicate, repeat offenses, etc.

    What Rights do you Lose as a Felon in New York?

    If you are convicted of a felony in New York, you may lose many of the rights and privileges of being an American citizen.

    • The right to vote
    • The right to purchase firearms
    • The right to sit on a jury
    • The right to welfare
    • The right to Federally funded housing
    • Exclusion from some operator licenses

    Misdemeanor Crimes and Classifications 

    Similar to felonies, misdemeanors are broken into sub-divisions; A, B, and unclassified. Misdemeanors may also come with fines.

    What is a Class a Misdemeanor in New York?

    Class A misdemeanors in New York include petit larceny, resisting arrest, and criminal possession of a controlled substance in the 7th degree. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and is the most severe crime.

    What is a Misdemeanor Class B in NY?

    A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. Class B misdemeanors include prostitution, harassment in the 1st degree, and unlawful assembly.

    What are the Penalties for Unclassified Misdemeanors?

    Penalties for unclassified misdemeanors are detailed in the specific laws defining each offense. All unclassified misdemeanors are first-time driving while intoxicated, aggravated unlicensed driving, and reckless driving.

    Contact McCabe Coleman Ventosa & Patterson PLLC today to discuss your case!

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