New York Misdemeanor
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Any New York Criminal Defense Attorney who handles Misdemeanor Cases will tell you that a Misdemeanor is punishable by no more than one year in jail. (A Felony is punishable by over one year in prison.) However, not every Misdemeanor is punishable up to a year in jail. A New York Criminal lawyer from our office has compiled an analysis of the various misdemeanor levels in New York. There are three types of Misdemeanors: A Misdemeanor, B Misdemeanor and Unclassified Misdemeanor. An A Misdemeanor is punishable up to one year in jail. Examples of an A Misdemeanor are Petite Larceny, Assault in the 3rd Degree, Criminal Mischief in the 4th Degree, Endangering the welfare of a child and Criminal Trespass in the 2nd degree. The second type of Misdemeanor is a B Misdemeanor. Your New York Criminal Defense Lawyer will tell you that a B Misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail. B Misdemeanor examples include Attempted Assault, Marijuana Possession in the fifth degree (more than 25 grams and less than 2 ounces) and Harassment in the 1st Degree. One of the issues that is rarely discussed is that if you are charged with a B Misdemeanor you are not entitled to a Jury Trial. Our New York Criminal Lawyers continually have to explain this to our clients.
Constitutionally, if the potential length of incarceration is 90 days or less, you are only entitled to a Bench Trial. As your New York Criminal Lawyer will explain to you, a Bench Trial is where the Judge acts as both Judge and Jury. Thus, the Judge decides innocence or guilt if the case goes to trial.
In an A Misdemeanor Case the Criminal Defendant is entitled to a Jury Trial, because the length of potential sentence is over 90 days as this type of misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail. It is important to note that, in Misdemeanor Cases where the potential sentence exceeds 90 days, your New York Criminal Lawyer will explain that while you have the right to a Jury Trial you have the option of having a Bench Trial. In most cases New York Criminal Defense Lawyers will advise the client to always opt for a Jury Trial. There are rare exceptions to this. The Criminal Lawyer may feel the jury pool is incapable of presenting a jury that will give a fair trial or in a legal complex case, the Judge may have a better grasp of the case and the Criminal Lawyer will decide, with the client, to opt for a Bench Trial. The third type of Misdemeanor is an Unclassified Misdemeanor such as Driving With a Suspended License 511-1A, DWI 1192.2 and 1192.3, which are covered by the Vehicle and Traffic Laws are unclassified misdemeanors. Depending on the statutory jail sentence, the same Jury Trial issues are present as well as the maximum sentence under New York Law, which cannot exceed one year in jail for any Misdemeanor. To find out exact sentences speak with your New York Criminal Defense Lawyer. He can guide you as to the sentence for your specific Unclassified Misdemeanor. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC our Criminal Lawyers are experienced and knowledgeable in handling the full gamut of Misdemeanor Cases under New York Sate Law. If you are facing a Criminal Misdemeanor Charge, call our Firm and ask to speak with a New York Criminal Defense Attorney in our office. We offer a free consultation with a Criminal Lawyer with whom you can discuss your New York Misdemeanor Charge with total confidentiality. We can meet you in our various locations throughout New York City and on Long Island. The locations include Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Long Island (Nassau County and Suffolk County) and Westchester. Our phone number is 800.696.9529. Call us or contact us online to utilize the free consultation with a Criminal Lawyer from our office.