Member of:
Justia Lawyer Rating
American Association for Justice
Union Plus

NY Penal Law § 120.30: Promoting a suicide attempt

The issue of suicide is emotional and the topic of helping someone to commit suicide is controversial. Many believe that aiding, encouraging, or advising someone to commit suicide is morally wrong. Others believe it is a difficult, yet personal issue. Regardless of whether you consider it to be morally right or wrong, under New York law it is illegal. According to New York Penal Code 120.30 it is a felony to intentionally help another person to attempt to commit suicide. Whether or not the suicide attempt is successful is not relevant. It is just relevant that you helped someone attempt to commit suicide.


A woman suffered from emotional problems for years and had attempted suicide a number of times. She had recently started to again talk about suicide. The woman and her husband drove to a cliff in a state park. The man got out of the car. The woman then drove the car off the cliff. The woman did not survive. The man could be prosecuted for promoting a suicide attempt as he knew that his wife's intentions, accompanied her to the site of the suicide, and did not attempt to stop the suicide.

Related Offenses
  1. Reckless endangerment in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 120.20
  2. Reckless endangerment in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 120.25

In order for you to be convicted under the promoting a suicide attempt statute is necessary for the prosecutor to prove that your actions were intentional. If when you acted you were unaware of the person's intentions, then you did not have the necessary element of intention and should not be prosecuted.


Promoting a suicide attempt is a class E felony. The maximum possible sentence is 4 years in prison. The actual length of your prison sentence will depend on factors such as your prior criminal record, if any. If you do not have a prior felony conviction, there is a good chance that your sentence would be a probation (link to: term of 5 years without any prison. However, you may also be ordered to by a fine of up to $5,000.

New York Penal Code § 120.30: Promoting a suicide attempt

A person is guilty of promoting a suicide attempt when he intentionally causes or aids another person to attempt suicide.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

While you may be believe that people have the right to commit suicide if they so chose, and that under some circumstances it is an act of compassion to assist someone in doing so. However, that is not the law in New York. If you do so you will have committed a felony and you could end up in prison. 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 misdemeanors and felonies such as assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, menacing, reckless endangerment, stalking, rape, and child endangerment. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
My wife and I met under some unconventional circumstances. After I had some legal problems, Mr Bilkis and his firm continually got me out of trouble. I then had his firm represented my wife and he got her out of trouble! We are still married and got our ways straightened away. We both can't thank him enough for saving our lives and our families! J.P.
I contacted Stephen Bilkis' office for an issue regarding a family member and I could not be happier with the results. I have recommended the firm to friends and family, all of whom were also ecstatic with Mr. Bilkis and all members of his staff. P.R.
I was in need of legal assistance for a very sensitive matter for a family member. I contacted the law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC and was met with staff whose demeanor was supportive, compassionate and professional. The lawyer handling our case had many years of experience and treated us as if we were his own family. Our experience was so good, and we became so close to all of the staff and all of the attorneys who assisted us, that we consider them our extended family and continue to send them our home baked gifts for the holidays. P.A.K.
I hired Stephen Bilkis and Associates to represent me on a legal matter a few months ago and am grateful for their swift action and resolution on my behalf. I was impressed with their professionalism and would recommend them to friends and family in a heartbeat. M.B.