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New York Penal Law § 195.16: Obstructing Emergency Medical Services

New York Penal Law § 195.16 is a criminal offense that prohibits the obstruction of emergency medical services. The law is intended to protect emergency medical service providers who are attempting to provide care to individuals in need of medical attention.

Under this law, a person is guilty of obstructing emergency medical services when they intentionally obstruct, hinder, or delay the provision of emergency medical services by emergency medical personnel or other authorized personnel. This can include preventing or delaying emergency personnel from accessing a patient or refusing to allow them to transport a patient to a medical facility.

The prosecution must prove that the defendant had the specific intent to obstruct or delay the provision of emergency medical services. This means that the defendant knew that their actions were illegal and intended to interfere with the ability of emergency medical personnel to provide care.


People v. Gohagen, 77 A.D.3d 1134 (2d Dep't 2010). In People v. Gohagen, the defendant, Mr. Gohagen, was charged with violating New York Penal Law § 195.16, which prohibits obstructing emergency medical services. The case arose from an incident where Mr. Gohagen allegedly interfered with paramedics who were attempting to provide medical assistance to an individual who had fallen unconscious.

At trial, the court found that Mr. Gohagen's actions constituted a violation of § 195.16. The court noted that the statute was intended to protect the safety of individuals who require emergency medical services and ensure that paramedics 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 emergency medical services. The court found that Mr. Gohagen's intentional act of blocking the paramedics' access to the individual and attempting to physically prevent them from providing medical assistance constituted a knowing obstruction of emergency medical services.

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 firefighting operations. New York Penal Law section 195.15
  6. Obstruction of governmental duties by means of a bomb, destructive device, explosive, or hazardous substance. New York Penal Law section 195.17

Obstructing emergency medical services is a class A misdemeanor offense under New York Penal Law section 195.16. The sentence for a class A misdemeanor can range from a fine of up to $1,000 to a maximum of one year in jail, or a combination of both.

Obstructing Emergency Medical Services: New York Penal Law Section 195.16

A person is guilty of obstructing emergency medical services when he or she intentionally and unreasonably obstructs the efforts of any service, technician, personnel, system or unit specified in section three thousand one of the public health law in the performance of their duties. Obstructing emergency medical services is a class A misdemeanor.

Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Obstructing emergency medical services is a serious offense that can result in severe consequences. Anyone who has been charged with this offense should seek immediate legal representation from an experienced criminal attorney serving New York who can help navigate the legal process and build a strong defense. It is important to take the charges seriously and work with a skilled attorney to protect your rights and freedom. With the right legal guidance, it may be possible to reduce or dismiss the charges and achieve the best possible outcome in your 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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