New York Penal Law § 140.17: Criminal trespass in the first degree

Criminal trespass is a crime that involves unlawfully entering or remaining the property of another person. If you do and you have a weapon, you will be charged with criminal trespass in the first degree. Under New York Penal Law section 140.17, criminal trespass in the first degree is a felony and is defined as knowingly entering or remaining on the property of another and:

  1. Possessing a deadly weapon or explosives, or
  2. Possessing a firearm, or knowing another participant is in possession

Under New York Penal Law section 10.00(12) examples of deadly weapons include any loaded weapon from which a shot may be discharged, a knife, dagger, billy, blackjack, plastic knuckles, or metal knuckles.

Example

Stephen enters the lobby of a biotech company and demands to see the CEO. He explains that he wants to discuss the company's use of animals in their experiments. The security guard asks Stephen to leave. Stephen refuses. When the security approaches Stephen to escort him out, Stephen pulls out what appears to be an explosive and threatens to blow up the building if he is not permitted to see the CEO. Stephen could be prosecuted for criminal trespass in the first degree because he unlawfully remained on the property and he had an explosive.

Related Offenses
  1. Trespass: New York Penal Law section 140.05
  2. Criminal trespass in the third degree: New York Penal Law section 140.10
  3. Criminal trespass in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 140.15
Defenses

If you face a charge of criminal trespass in the first degree based on having a deadly weapon, because New York's Penal Law has a very specific definition of the term "deadly weapon," the prosecutor must show that the object you possessed was indeed a deadly weapon. If the prosecutor is unable to do so, you have a good defense to a criminal trespass in the first degree charge.

Sentence

Because criminal trespass in the first degree is a class D felony the maximum sentence is 7 years in prison. Whether or not you are sent to prison and the length of time you must spend in prison depends largely on your prior criminal record. If you have no prior felony convictions within the previous 10 years it is possible for the judge to not sentence you to any prison time at all. Your sentence may include just probation. If you do have at least one prior felony conviction within the last 10 years the judge will sentence you to at last 2-4 years in prison.

New York Penal Law § 140.17: Criminal trespass in the first degree

A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the first degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building, and when, in the course of committing such crime, he:

  1. Possesses, or knows that another participant in the crime possesses, an explosive or a deadly weapon; or
  2. Possesses a firearm, rifle or shotgun, as those terms are defined in section 265.00, and also possesses or has readily accessible a quantity of ammunition which is capable of being discharged from such firearm, rifle or shotgun; or
  3. Knows that another participant in the crime possesses a firearm, rifle or shotgun under circumstances described in subdivision two.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you have been charged with criminal trespass in the first degree you could end up in prison for several years. Thus, it is important that you immediately seek experienced legal guidance. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors in violation of New York state law and federal law. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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