Criminal Offenses

In New York State, criminal offenses can be classified as violations, misdemeanors or felonies. Violations are technically not crimes. However, they can carry up to a fifteen (15) day jail maximum sentence. Also, the collateral consequences of a conviction for violation, especially for a non-citizen, can be serious.

Misdemeanors are crimes. In New York State, this category of crimes is divided into two classes, Class A and Class B. Class B, the less severe of the two classifications carry a maximum sentence of up to ninety (90) days incarceration or up to one-year probation. The more severe of the two classifications is the Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor can carry a maximum sentence of one-year in jail or three years of probation. Any misdemeanor conviction results in a permanent criminal record and can have severe collateral consequences on non-citizens. Additionally, it can have serious consequences on those hold certain State-issued licenses, those seeking admission to the United States military and those seeking financial assistance for college or graduate school education.

Felonies are divided into 5 classifications: Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D and Class E. Class E is the least severe, followed by Class D, then Class C, Class B, and finally, the most serious charges, Class A felonies. Felonies are further subdivided into violent and non-violent offenses. Whether a particular felony offense is classified as a violent or non-violent felony has nothing to do with the particular facts of the offense. Rather, it is based on the way the Legislature has classified the offense. For example, a typical unarmed residential break-in when no one is home (Burglary in the Second Degree) is considered a violent felony, while threatening to beat someone up unless they hand over their personal property (Robbery in the Third Degree) is a non-violent felony offense. Unlike misdemeanors which have clear minimum and maximum sentences, many factors go into the determination of the sentencing range of a particular felony charge. Generally, these factors are, the class of felony charged, the type of case involved (there are special sentencing structures for drug and sex offenses), whether it is considered a violent or non-violent offense, and most importantly, the amount of prior felony convictions the accused has amasses.

As one can imagine, given all the variable involved, if you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, it is crucial to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney. Ezra C. Levy has spent almost two decades handling some of the most difficult cases in the courts of New York State. Ezra is the youngest attorney in the history of the Legal Aid Society to be assigned the role of lead trial counsel for the defense of a client charged with Murder in the First Degree. In addition, Ezra was routinely asked to handle the defense of those charged with Attempted Murder in the First Degree for shooting at members of the New York City Police Department. Ezra C. Levy has successfully secured acquittals for clients charged with: Robbery in the First Degree, Burglary in the First Degree, Rape in the First Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Assault in the Second Degree, Robbery in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, and numerous other charges. If you or a loved one are facing any type of criminal charge, contact an attorney with a proven track-record of getting results for his clients, contact Ezra C. Levy today.

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