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New York Penal Law § 195.15: Obstructing Firefighting Operations

New York Penal Law § 195.15 is a criminal offense that prohibits obstructing firefighting operations. The law is designed to protect firefighters and other emergency personnel who are responding to fires and other emergencies. Under this law, a person is guilty of obstructing firefighting operations when they intentionally obstruct, hinder, or interfere with firefighting operations by firefighters or other authorized personnel. This can include preventing or delaying firefighters from accessing a fire or refusing to allow them to perform their duties.

The prosecution must prove that the defendant had the specific intent to obstruct or delay firefighting operations. This means that the defendant knew that their actions were illegal and intended to interfere with the ability of firefighters to perform their duties.


People v. Amato, 75 A.D.3d 891 (2d Dep't 2010). In People v. Amato, the defendant, Mr. Amato, was charged with violating New York Penal Law § 195.15, which prohibits obstructing firefighting operations. The case arose from an incident where Mr. Amato allegedly drove his car through a barricade and into a building that was on fire, despite orders from firefighters to stop and allow them to conduct their operations.

At trial, the court found that Mr. Amato's actions constituted a violation of § 195.15. The court noted that the statute was intended to protect the safety of firefighters and ensure that they are able to perform their duties without interference or obstruction. The court also noted that the language of the statute requires that the defendant knowingly obstruct or interfere with firefighting operations. The court found that Mr. Amato's intentional act of driving his car through the barricade and into the burning building constituted a knowing obstruction of firefighting operations.

Related Offenses
  1. Obstructing governmental administration in the second degree. New York Penal Law section 195.05
  2. Obstructing governmental administration in the first degree. New York Penal Law section 195.07
  3. Obstructing governmental administration by means of a self-defense spray device. New York Penal Law section 195.08
  4. Refusing to aid a peace or a police officer. New York Penal Law section 195.10
  5. Obstructing emergency medical services. New York Penal Law section 195.16
  6. Obstruction of governmental duties by means of a bomb, destructive device, explosive, or hazardous substance. New York Penal Law section 195.17

Obstructing firefighting operations is a class A misdemeanor offense under New York Penal Law § 195.15. The sentence for a class A misdemeanor in New York can include a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year in jail, or both.

Obstructing Firefighting Operations: New York Penal Law Section 195.15

A person is guilty of obstructing firefighting operations when he or she intentionally and unreasonably obstructs the efforts of any: 1. firefighter in extinguishing a fire, or prevents or dissuades another from extinguishing or helping to extinguish a fire; 2. firefighter, police officer or peace officer in performing his or her duties in circumstances involving an imminent danger created by an explosion, threat of explosion or the presence of toxic fumes or gases; or 3. firefighter performing emergency medical care on a sick or injured person. Obstructing firefighting operations is a class A misdemeanor.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Obstructing firefighting operations is a serious offense that can have severe consequences. It is crucial for individuals facing such charges to seek immediate legal representation from an experienced criminal attorney serving New York who can help build a strong defense and protect their rights. Anyone accused of this offense should take it seriously and work with a skilled attorney to navigate the legal process and achieve the best possible outcome in their case. 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.

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