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New York Penal Law § 145.30: Unlawfully posting advertisements

"Post no bills" is a common phrase on scaffolding and walls around New York. Advertisements for concerts, parties, products, and services are seemingly everywhere in New York. In some cases multiple copies of the same advertisement covers an entire wall. Despite the prevalence of such posted advertisements, it is generally against the law to post them. Under New York Penal Law § 145.30, it is illegal to post an advertisement on another person's property without permission.

Example

In People v. Vinolas, 667 N.Y.S.2d 198 (N.Y. City Crim. Ct., 1997) defendant George Vinolas was charged with unlawfully posting advertisements. Vinolas admitted to using glue to affix advertisement posters on a wall of a building. He did not have permission from the owner of the building.

Related Offenses
  1. Trespass: New York Penal Law § 140.05
  2. Criminal mischief in the fourth degree: New York Penal Law § 145.00
  3. Making Graffiti: New York Penal Law § 145.60
Defenses

If you can show that you had permission from the owner of the building to post the advertisements, then you have a valid defense. Under the statute there is a presumption that if the advertisement posted was a commercial advertisement, the vendor of that product, service or entertainment was responsible for posting that advertisement. However, if you are such a vendor you can rebut the statutory presumption with evidence that a third party posted the advertisements without authorization.

Sentence

Because unlawfully posting advertisements is a violation and not a misdemeanors of a felony if you violate New York Penal Code section 145.30 you could be sentenced to up to 15 days in jail. However, since it is not a crime, a conviction will not go on your criminal record.

New York Penal Law § 145.30: Unlawfully Posting Advertisements
  1. A person is guilty of unlawfully posting advertisements when, having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right, he posts, paints or otherwise affixes to the property of another person any advertisement, poster, notice or other matter designed to benefit a person other than the owner of the property.

  2. Where such matter consists of a commercial advertisement, it shall be presumed that the vendor of the specified product, service or entertainment is a person who placed such advertisement or caused it to be placed upon the property.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

You may be inclined to think that unlawfully posting advertisements is not serious and that being convicted of a violation is also not a big deal. However, even 15 days in the county jail is something to avoid. 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 criminal mischief as well as other felonies and misdemeanors such as grand larceny, burglary, and assault. 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 larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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