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A misdemeanor might be considered less severe than a felony, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take your case seriously. You can still face incarceration, fines, probation, and other sanctions the court deems appropriate for your case. Also, a conviction will result in a publicly accessible criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. Fighting your charge and seeking to avoid or minimize penalties requires going through a complex legal system. To effectively navigate your case, you must retain the services of a skilled lawyer right away.

At Lebedin Kofman LLP, our Manhattan misdemeanor lawyers are ready to help you. We are a boutique law firm delivering the personalized attention you need throughout your case. One of our attorneys will work closely with you to understand the facts from your perspective. And while you will have direct access to a dedicated lawyer, our team of professionals will be assisting with your case. Our approach allows us to analyze the facts from various angles and determine a path forward. We genuinely care about protecting our clients’ rights and freedoms. We are prepared to do what it takes to pursue an optimal result on your behalf.

To schedule a free consultation with a misdemeanor attorney in Manhattan, please call us at (646) 663-4430 or contact us online today.

What’s Considered a Misdemeanor in NY?

According to New York Penal Law § 10.00, a misdemeanor is a crime punishable by more than 15 days but not more than 1 year in jail. Offenses penalized by 1 year or more in prison are considered felonies – more serious than misdemeanors.

New York separates misdemeanors into three groups:

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Unclassified

Class A are considered the most severe misdemeanors. Class B are lower misdemeanors than Class A. Still, their relation to unclassified misdemeanors depends on the penalties outlined in the statute for the specific offense.

Whatever class of misdemeanor you have been charged with, our team at Lebedin Kofman LLP will aggressively fight for you. We are experienced in handling cases of varying complexity and can leverage our knowledge and skills to challenge the accusations against you.

How Does New York Define a Class A Misdemeanor?

Because Class A misdemeanors are the most serious, they carry the steepest penalties. They can be punished by jail for up to 1 year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In some cases, a judge can impose a term of probation for up to 3 years instead of incarceration.

Examples of Class A misdemeanors in NY include:

  • Criminal obstruction of breathing (New York Penal Law § 121.11): Choking or strangling a person by putting pressure on their neck or throat or covering their nose or mouth.
  • Forcible touching (New York Penal Law § 130.52): Touching another person’s intimate parts to degrade or abuse them or to satisfy the actor’s sexual desires.
  • Third-degree assault (New York Penal Law § 120.00): Intentionally or recklessly injuring another person, or, with criminal negligence, injuring someone by using a deadly weapon.

How Does New York Define a Class B Misdemeanor?

In New York, Class B misdemeanors are crimes punishable by up to 3 months in jail or up to 1 year of probation. They also carry a fine of not more than $500

Examples of NY Class B misdemeanors include:

How Does New York Define an Unclassified Misdemeanor?

An unclassified misdemeanor is an offense not defined generally by the Penal Law. Instead, the penalties that can be imposed are specified in the individual statutes. Typically, an unclassified misdemeanor is punished by probation but can carry a sentence of no more than 1 year in jail.

Generally, unclassified misdemeanors are traffic offenses, such as:

  • Driving while intoxicated (New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1192): Operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or more. A conviction can result in up to 1 year of incarceration and/or a fine between $500 and $1,000.
  • Engaging in a speed contest or race (New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1182): Participating or aiding in a race upon a highway. The offense is penalized by up to 30 days in jail and/or between $300 and $525 in fines.
  • Reckless driving (New York Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1212): Driving in a way that prevents the use of a public highway or endangers others. A violation is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $300.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Misdemeanors in NY?

The statute of limitations provides the amount of time the prosecutor has to file a case against the accused. Putting a time limit on some criminal cases protects defendants from being tried and potentially found guilty of a crime based on evidence that has degraded or been mishandled over the years.

For misdemeanors, the State has 2 years to commence prosecution. Failing to meet this deadline can result in the case being dismissed.

How Long Does a Misdemeanor Stay on Your Record in New York?

In New York, a misdemeanor conviction can stay on your record for the rest of your life unless you take action to have it sealed.

As mentioned earlier, a misdemeanor conviction is public record. That means anyone can find it, including potential employers or landlords. People often make negative judgments and quick, adverse decisions about an individual with a criminal record, even after that person has completed their sentence and learned from their mistake.

You can seek to have your misdemeanor conviction sealed 10 years after you were sentenced or completed your term of incarceration, whichever is later. Additionally, you must not have committed any other offense or have any pending charges against you.

How a Manhattan Misdemeanor Attorney Can Help Fight Your Charge

Even though you have been charged with a misdemeanor, your case is not without hope. Depending on your circumstances, defenses can be raised to challenge the accusations. Our team will scrutinize the facts to identify weaknesses in proof and determine how to counter the prosecutor’s arguments.

Speak with one of our misdemeanor lawyers in Manhattan by contacting us at (646) 663-4430.

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