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Criminal Interference with Health Care Services or Religious Worship

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New York recognizes that people should have the right to freely practice their religion and obtain reproductive health services without interference. As such, it is a crime to interfere with health care services or religious worship in New York. “Interference” refers to any act that restricts a person’s freedom of movement, so intentionally standing in a woman’s way to prevent her from entering Planned Parenthood or boarding up the walls of a synagogue to prevent worshippers from practicing their religion could be considered an offense.

Many people are aware that violence and hate crimes against certain groups are increasingly common, which is likely why New York legislators sought to do something about it by enforcing this law. But it’s not as simple to prove guilt as one may assume, and we can use that complexity to your advantage when you hire our lawyer to defend you. Our New York attorney can fight tooth and nail to defend you from allegations of criminal interference with health care services or religious worship.

Schedule your free consultation online or by calling (646) 663-4430!

NY Laws & Penalties for Criminal Interference with Health Care Services or Religious Worship

Committing an offense related to health care services or religious worship is a fairly new crime in New York. As stated before, violence and hate against particular individuals are not new. These acts continue to persist across the US, as you have likely heard on the news. As such, you should learn the seriousness of this crime by browsing the laws and penalties below:

Second-degree criminal interference with health care services or religious worship is committed by intentionally injuring, intimidating, or interfering with, or attempting to do so by force or threat of force or by physical obstruction to another person for the following reasons:

  • Because they were or are obtaining or providing reproductive health services
  • To discourage the person from obtaining or providing reproductive health services
  • Because the person was or is seeking to exercise the right of religious freedom at a place of religious worship

This crime is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

A person commits first-degree criminal interference with health care services or religious worship when they commit this crime in the second degree AND has been previously convicted of this offense or its aggravated counterpart in the first or second degree. If convicted of criminal interference with health care services or religious worship in the first degree, you’re looking at a class E felony charge punishable by up to 4 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

While these consequences sound tough enough, they could get worse if aggravated circumstances are present in your reported offense. Aggravating factors increase the severity and culpability of a crime, so accordingly, the penalties will be harsher. Keep in mind that New York statutes currently only define aggravating crimes concerning health care services, not reproductive services at this time. This could change in the future.

A class E felony, aggravated interference with health care services in the second degree is committed when a person physically injures another person who was obtaining or providing, or assisting a person who was obtaining or providing reproductive health care services. To secure a conviction, the prosecution must prove that the defendant intentionally injured, intimidated, interfered with, or attempted to do such acts by force, the threat of force, or physical obstruction, and as a result, caused physical injury.

However, if you commit the acts above and they result in SERIOUS physical injury, you will get charged with aggravated interference with health care services in the first degree. This offense is a class C felony punishable by 3.5 to 15 years in prison and/or a maximum$15,000 fine.

Facing Charges? You’ve Come to the Right Place.

Our New York lawyer can aggressively defend your allegations of criminal interference with health care services or religious worship. Clients trust us to provide powerhouse advocacy at all stages of the process, and you can too. After all, we have earned a track record for favorable results as a result.

To get started on your defense, call (646) 663-4430! We are available 24/7 to guide, support, and help you.

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