New York Penal Law § 195.02: Concealment of a Human Corpse
New York Penal Law § 195.02 is a criminal statute that prohibits the concealment of a human corpse. Specifically, the law states that a person is guilty of this offense when they knowingly conceal or dispose of a corpse with the intent to conceal the fact of the death or to avoid discovery of the cause or manner of death.
Concealing a human corpse can take many different forms, from simply hiding the body to burying it, dismembering it, or even attempting to dissolve it with chemicals. The key factor is that the defendant must have knowingly concealed or disposed of the body, with the intent to prevent its discovery or to avoid scrutiny from law enforcement or other authorities.
The intent requirement is a key element of this offense, and it can be difficult for prosecutors to prove that a defendant had the specific intent to conceal a corpse. However, the law also recognizes that the act of concealing a corpse is inherently suspicious, and the fact of concealment alone may be enough to raise suspicions and prompt an investigation.
In some cases, defendants may argue that they did not conceal the corpse with any criminal intent, but rather to spare themselves or others from emotional distress or to carry out the wishes of the deceased. However, these arguments are often difficult to prove, and defendants may face significant legal hurdles in attempting to justify their actions.
If you are facing charges under New York Penal Law § 195.02, it is essential to hire an experienced New York criminal lawyer who can help you navigate the legal system and work towards the best possible outcome in your case.
ExamplePeople v. Garson, 71 A.D.3d 866 (2d Dep't 2010). In this case, a former judge was convicted of, among other charges, concealing the death of a woman who died in his home by removing her body and disposing of it in a wooded area. The prosecution argued that the defendant's actions were intended to conceal evidence of a crime and impede the investigation. The defendant was ultimately sentenced to prison. This case highlights the seriousness of charges under New York Penal Law § 195.02 and the severe consequences that can result from a conviction.
People v. Gotti, 2005 NY Slip Op 25124 (Sup. Ct. Queens County 2005). In this case, a reputed organized crime figure was charged with, among other things, conspiring to dispose of the body of a murder victim in order to conceal evidence of the crime. The prosecution argued that the defendant's actions were part of a larger conspiracy to obstruct justice and impede the investigation. The defendant ultimately pled guilty to charges including conspiracy and was sentenced to prison.
People v. Clay, 2019 NY Slip Op 31162 (Sup. Ct. New York County 2019). In this case, a man was charged with, among other things, concealing the body of his ex-girlfriend, who had been reported missing for several months before her remains were found. The prosecution argued that the defendant's actions were intended to conceal evidence of a murder and impede the investigation. The defendant ultimately pled guilty to charges including concealment of a human corpse and was sentenced to prison.
Other Obstruction OffensesObstructing governmental administration in the first degree. New York Penal Law section 195.07
Obstructing governmental administration by means of a self-defense spray device. New York Penal Law section 195.08
Obstructing firefighting operations. New York Penal Law section 195.15
Obstructing emergency medical services. New York Penal Law section 195.16
Obstruction of governmental duties by means of a bomb, destructive device, explosive, or hazardous substance. New York Penal Law section 195.17
Concealment of a human corpse is a class E felony under New York Penal Law section 195.02. If convicted, the sentence for this offense can include up to 4 years in prison, probation, fines, and community service. However, if the offense involves concealing a corpse with the intent to conceal a crime, the sentence can be enhanced to a higher level felony with a longer prison term. Additionally, if the offense involves desecration of a corpse, the sentence can also be enhanced. The specific sentence for this offense would depend on the circumstances of the case and the discretion of the judge.
Concealment of a Human Corpse: New York Penal Law Section 195.02A person is guilty of concealment of a human corpse when, having a reasonable expectation that a human corpse or a part thereof will be produced for or used as physical evidence in: (a) an official proceeding; (b) an autopsy as part of a criminal investigation; or (c) an examination by law enforcement personnel as part of a criminal investigation; such person, alone or in concert with another, conceals, alters or destroys such corpse or part thereof with the intent to prevent its production, use or discovery.
Concealment of a human corpse is a class E felony.
Contact Stephen Bilkis & AssociatesNew York Penal Law § 195.02 is a criminal statute that criminalizes the act of knowingly concealing a human corpse with the intent to prevent its discovery or to avoid scrutiny from authorities. If you are facing charges under this statute, contact at experienced criminal attorney serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. With over 20 years of experience, we are here to help. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.