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Felony and Misdemeanor charges

 Pursuant to Article 10 of the New York State Penal Law, there are generally  three(3) defined types of offenses:

(1) Violation - A violation is an offense, not including a traffic infraction, where the maximum  sentence cannot be greater than fifteen days jail. A violation is not a crime. Thus, if you plead guilty to a violation you will not have a criminal record as a result of that particular plea.

(2) Misdemeanor. Any sentence for a misdemeanor cannot be greater than one year in jail. Misdemeanors are described as "A" misdemeanors, "B" misdemeanors and "unclassified" misdemeanors. While "A" misdemeanors are punishable by up to one year, "B" misdemeanors are punishable by up to ninety(90) days jail.

(3) Felony - A felony is an offense where the punishment may exceed the one year maximum associated with misdemeanors. Felonies are range from an "E" felony to an "A" felony.

The determination of whether an offense is a felony or misdemeanor usually depends on the potential punishment. The more serious the crime the more serious the potential punishment.

Felonies in New York are divided into five(5) classes: A, B, C, D, and E. Class A felonies are then divided into two(2) categories: A-I and A-II. Class A felonies impose the longest prison sentences, and Class E felonies impose the shortest prison sentences for felonies.

All felonies must be prosecuted by an indictment voted on by a grand jury, unless the defendant waives indictment and proceeds with a negotiated plea.

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Kurt T. Richards, P.C.
1200 South Avenue, Suite 201
Staten Island, NY 10314
Phone: 718-720-1000
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