New York Penal Law § 158.45: Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree

If you are in possession of public benefit cards that are in another person's name or in the names if several other people, you may have committed the crime of criminal possession of public benefit cards. There are 3 such statutes in the New York criminal code. The specific charge that you will face will depend on the number of cards that you have. Under New York Penal Law section 158.45 you could be prosecuted for criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree if with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, you knowingly possesses 10 or more public benefit cards in the name of someone other than you.

Under New York Penal Law section 158.00(1)(a), a "public benefit card" is a medical assistance card, food stamp assistance card, public assistance card, or other identification issued by the state or a social services district which entitles a person to obtain public assistance benefits.

Example

Ginger knows exactly when public benefit cards arrive in the mail each month. As soon as the mail arrives, she quickly goes to the mailboxes of several different people and steals the envelopes that she knows contain public benefit cards. In one month she sometimes is able to steal 10-15 cards. Not only could Ginger be prosecuted for larceny, he could also be prosecuted for criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree.

Related Offenses
  1. Criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 158.30
  2. Criminal use of a public benefit card in the first degree: New York Penal Law section 158.35
  3. Criminal possession of a public benefit cards in the third degree: New York Penal Law section 158.40
  4. Criminal possession of a public benefit cards in the first degree: New York Penal Law section 158.50
Defenses

In order to violate the criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree statute, you must have the intent to defraud and you must be in possession of at least 10 public benefit cards. If you can show that your intent was not to defraud or that you had less than 10 cards, then you may have a valid defense to the charge.

Sentence

As a class D felony, if you are convicted of criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree your sentence may include a prison term of up to 7 years, a probation term of 5 years, and a fine.

New York Penal Law § 158.45: Criminal possession of public benefit cards in second degree

A person is guilty of criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree when he or she with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, knowingly possesses ten or more public benefit cards in a name or names other than the person's own name.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are charged with criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree, it is critical that you have experienced representation. If you are convicted you could be sent to prison for up to 7 years. 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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