New York Penal Law § 115.05: Criminal facilitation in the second degree

If you someone else commits a crime with your help, then you too will face criminal charges. This is the case even if you were not present during the commission of the crime that you aided. The charge you will face is called criminal facilitation. There are 4 degrees of the charge of criminal facilitation. The specific charge you will face will largely depend on three factors: your age, the age of the person you helped, and the type of crime you helped the other person commit. Under New York Penal Law section 115.05 you have committed the crime of criminal facilitation in the second degree if you help another person commit a crime that is a Class A felony. Examples of Class A felonies include murder in the first degree, arson in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, and operating as a major drug trafficker.

Example

In People v. Ortiz (N.Y. App. Div., 2011), defendant Pavan Ortiz was charged with criminal facilitation in the second degree based on helping another person commit the crime of murder in the first degree. Michael was instructed to kill a person referred to as Butterball. Michael did not know how Butterball was. Ortiz offered to point Butterball out to Michael. Ortiz then led Michael to the exact location of Butterball and pointed him out. Michael shot and killed Butterball.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal facilitation in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law section 115.00
  2. Criminal facilitation in the third degree: New York Penal Law section 115.01
  3. Criminal facilitation in the first degree: New York Penal Law section 115.08
Defenses

An important defense to the charge of criminal facilitation in the second degree is duress. If you can show that you did not want to help the other person commit the crime but were forced to, you may have a valid duress defense. Duress is defined as another person physically forcing you to do something that you do not want to do, or threatening to use physical force.

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. Furthermore, it is not a defense that you did not have the intent to commit the underlying crime.

Sentence

As a Class C felony, if you are convicted of criminal facilitation in the second degree your sentence may include a prison term of up to 15 years, a probation term of up to 5 years, and a substantial fine.

New York Penal Law section 115.05: Criminal facilitation in the second degree

A person is guilty of criminal facilitation in the second degree when, believing it probable that he is rendering aid to a person who intends to commit a class A felony, 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 such class A felony.

New York Criminal Facilitation in the Second Degree Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal facilitation in the second 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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