New York Penal Law § 195.10: Refusing to Aid a Peace or a Police Officer
New York Penal Law § 195.10, commonly referred to as the "Good Samaritan Law," criminalizes the act of refusing to aid a peace or police officer in the event of an emergency. The law requires individuals to provide reasonable assistance to peace or police officers who request their help in the performance of official duties. Failure to comply with this request can result in criminal charges.
The law defines "peace or police officer" as any individual who is authorized by law to enforce criminal or traffic laws, maintain public order, or respond to emergencies. When requesting assistance, peace or police officers must identify themselves as such and explain the nature of the emergency.
There are exceptions to the law. Individuals who are physically incapable of providing assistance are not required to comply with the request. Additionally, individuals who would be put in danger or cause harm to others by complying with the request are also exempt.
If an individual is charged with refusing to aid a peace or police officer under New York Penal Law § 195.10, they may face criminal penalties, including fines and potential imprisonment. It is important to seek legal representation from an experienced New York criminal lawyer to navigate the legal process, explore potential defense strategies, and work to protect legal rights.Examples
People v. Snyder, 187 A.D.2d 261 (1st Dep't 1993). People v. Snyder, the defendant, Ms. Snyder, was charged with violating New York Penal Law § 195.10, which prohibits refusing to aid a peace or police officer. Ms. Snyder had been a passenger in a vehicle that was stopped by police officers for a traffic violation. When the officers requested that she exit the vehicle and provide them with her identification, she refused to comply and instead locked herself in the vehicle.
The trial court convicted Ms. Snyder of violating § 195.10, and she appealed the decision. The Appellate Division, First Department, upheld the trial court's decision, finding that Ms. Snyder had willfully refused to aid the police officers in the performance of their duties. The court noted that the purpose of § 195.10 was to promote cooperation between citizens and law enforcement officials, and that Ms. Snyder's refusal to comply with the officers' lawful requests hindered the performance of their duties.
People v. Wong, 35 Misc. 3d 1203(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2012). In People v. Wong, the defendant, Mr. Wong, was charged with violating New York Penal Law § 195.10 after he refused to provide his identification to police officers who were investigating a crime in the area. The officers had approached Mr. Wong on the street and asked him if he had seen anything suspicious. When they asked for his identification, Mr. Wong refused to provide it and instead walked away.
The trial court found Mr. Wong guilty of violating § 195.10, and he appealed the decision. The court of appeals upheld the conviction, finding that Mr. Wong's refusal to provide his identification hindered the officers' investigation and interfered with their duties. The court noted that § 195.10 requires individuals to aid police officers when they are lawfully performing their duties, and that Mr. Wong's refusal to provide his identification constituted a violation of this duty.Related Offenses
- Killing or injuring a police animal. New York Penal Law section 195.06
- Killing a police work dog or police work horse. New York Penal Law section 195.06-a
- Obstructing firefighting operations. New York Penal Law section 195.15
- Obstructing emergency medical services. New York Penal Law section 195.16
Refusing to aid a peace or police officer is a class B misdemeanor under New York Penal Law § 195.10. As a class B misdemeanor, the maximum sentence that can be imposed is up to 3 months in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. However, the court may also choose to impose a lesser sentence, such as probation or community service.Refusing to Aid a Peace or Police Officer: New York Penal Law Section 195.10
A person is guilty of refusing to aid a peace or a police officer when, upon command by a peace or a police officer identifiable or identified to him as such, he unreasonably fails or refuses to aid such peace or a police officer in effecting an arrest, or in preventing the commission by another person of any offense. Refusing to aid a peace or a police officer is a class B misdemeanor.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you have been charged with refusing to aid a peace or police officer under New York Penal Law § 195.10, they should seek the guidance of an experienced criminal attorney serving New York. An experienced attorney can help navigate the legal process, explore potential defense strategies, and work to protect their client's legal rights. The earlier you involve an experienced attorney in the process, the best. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.