New York Penal Law § 115.00: Criminal facilitation in the fourth degree

If you help another person commit a crime you would have also committed a crime. In New York this crime is referred to as criminal facilitation. There are 4 different criminal facilitation crimes in the New York criminal code. The least serious is criminal facilitation in the fourth degree. Under New York Penal Law § 115.00, you have committed the crime of criminal facilitation in the fourth degree if you believe that you are helping someone commit a crime and:

  1. You engage in conduct which provides that person with the means or opportunity for the commission of the crime and which in fact aids such person to commit a felony, or
  2. The person is under 16 years old, you are over 18 years old, and you engage in conduct which provides that person with means or opportunity to commit the crime and you in fact do aid such person to commit a crime.
Example

In People v. Watson, 2012 NY Slip Op 8169 (N.Y., 2012), defendant Watson was charged with criminal facilitation in the fourth degree after bringing an undercover police officer to a location so that the undercover officer could buy drugs from another person.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal facilitation in the third degree: New York Penal Law § 115.01
  2. Criminal facilitation in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 115.05
  3. Criminal facilitation in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 115.08
Defenses

If the person who committed the crime forced you to aid him or her, you may have a valid duress defense. Under New York Penal Law § 40.00, if you were coerced to aid in the commission of crime by the use of physical force or threats of imminent physical force then you may have a valid defense to a criminal facilitation charge.

It is important to note that in order to convict you of criminal facilitation in the fourth degree the prosecutor must have evidence that you aided the commission of the crime other than testimony from the person who committed the crime. If that is the only evidence that the prosecutor has, that is not enough to convict you.

Sentence

As a Class A misdemeanor if you are convicted of criminal facilitation in the fourth degree your sentence may include a jail term of up to a year, a probation term of up to 3 years, and a fine.

New York Penal Law § 115.00: Criminal facilitation in the fourth degree

A person is guilty of criminal facilitation in the fourth degree when, believing it probable that he is rendering aid:

  1. to a person who intends to commit a crime, he engages in conduct which provides such person with means or opportunity for the commission thereof and which in fact aids such person to commit a felony; or
  2. to a person under sixteen years of age who intends to engage in conduct which would constitute a crime, he, being over eighteen years of age, engages in conduct which provides such person with means or opportunity for the commission thereof and which in fact aids such person to commit a crime.
New York Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree Lawyer

Even though criminal facilitation in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor and not a felony, it is still important to have experienced representation. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with crimes such as criminal facilitation, as well as crimes related to theft, drugs, arson, assault, burglary, and reckless endangerment. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations:

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