New York Criminal Law Basics - Crimes and Sentencing
Categories of Crimes
As is the case in most states, New York criminal law divides offenses into two broad categories -- felonies and misdemeanors. Felonies are the more serious crimes while misdemeanors include lessor crimes. Consequently, the maximum penalty for a felony offense is higher than that of a misdemeanor offense. Within the category of felony offenses, New York criminal law further divides offenses into violent and non-violent felonies. Not surprisingly, violent felonies carry the harshest penalties of all crimes.
Level of Crimes
New York criminal law classifies both misdemeanors and felonies using a letter system. Misdemeanors are classified as a level A or level B, for example, while felonies are classified as a level A through level E, with a level A felony being the most serious offense. Within the lettering system, each felony is also classified as a violent or non-violent offense. Aggravated sexual assault in the third degree, for example, is classified as a D violent felony while aggravated criminal intent is a D non-violent felony.
Along with the level of offense a person is charged with, the existence, or absence, of prior convictions will also impact the possible sentencing range under New York criminal law if convicted of the current offense. A defendant with no priors, for example, faces less time in prison than someone who has a previous criminal conviction. In the same manner that offenses are divided into violent and non-violent offenses for the purposes of charging a defendant with a crime, previous convictions are likewise classified as violent or non-violent convictions. A previous conviction for a violent crime can also negatively impact a sentence for a current offense.
More by this Author
Learn more about the mysterious Scorpio.
What does your Mercury Sign tell us about you? Why is your Mercury Sign important?
What does Venus symbolize in your chart Venus tells you what you want in a relationship...how you act in a relationship and who you are attracted to in a relationship