New York Penal Law § 115.01: Criminal facilitation in the third 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. For example, if you help someone commit the felony of distribution of a controlled substance by finding people who want to buy drugs, then you would have committed the crime of criminal facilitation. Similarly, leaving the back door of a retail store unlocked so that another person could come in and commit burglary or grand larceny would also be form of criminal facilitation. Under New York Penal Law § 115.01, you have committed the crime of criminal facilitation in the third degree if you are over 18 years old and you help someone who is under 16 years old commit a felony.

Example

Jeff, who was 15 years old, told his 30 year old uncle, Malcolm, that he knew where he could get a bunch of money. Jeff explained that his friend's family was out of town and that he knew that his friend's father stashed money in a box in his office. Jeff said he needed help in breaking into the house. Malcolm explained to Jeff how to break into the house through a patio door, and gave Jeff the tools that he would need for the break in. Jeff broke into his friend's house and took over $2000. Jeff was quickly apprehended and charged with felony burglary and grand larceny. Malcolm could be prosecuted for criminal facilitation as he helped a 15 year old commit a felony by giving Jeff the tools and instructions to break into the house.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal facilitation in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 115.00
  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

A common defense to the charge of criminal facilitation in the third degree is duress. If you did not want to help someone else commit a crime, but that person forced you by threatening to harm you or another person, then you could successfully challenge the charge.

It is important to note that it is not a defense that the person you are accused of helping commit a crime was not convicted of committing that crime.

Sentence

As a Class E felony, if you are convicted of criminal facilitation in the third degree, your sentence may include a prison term of up to 4 years, a probation term of up to 5 years, and a substantial fine.

New York Penal Law § 115.01: Criminal facilitation in the third degree

A person guilty of criminal facilitation in the third degree, when believing it probable that he is rendering aid to a person under sixteen years of age who intends to engage in conduct that would constitute a felony, 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 felony.

New York Criminal Facilitation in the Third Degree Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal facilitation in the third degree it is important that you are represented by someone with experience. 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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