• Michael H. Ricca,
  •   None

There are many different laws that help keep New York State safe. However, these laws not only establish the rules citizens are required to follow; they also establish different levels of crimes, as well as the associated penalties.

New York State has three primary levels of crime: violations, misdemeanors, and felonies. Below, the professionals at The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. help explain what these classifications mean to you if you find yourself charged with a crime.


Before we talk about the consequences, it is important to understand what truly makes violations, misdemeanors, and felonies different.


With the exception of traffic infractions, violations are considered to be the least serious types of offenses within New York StTW. Violations are offenses that can result in up to 15 days in jail. Examples of violations include, but are not limited to:

• Penal Law 140.05: Trespass
• Penal Law 215.58: Failing to Respond to an Appearance Ticket
• Penal Law: 221.05: Unlawful Possession of Marihuana
• Penal Law: 240.26: Harassment in the Second Degree
• Penal Law 240.37: Loitering For the Purpose Of Engaging in Prostitution

Violations are not actually considered crimes. So, while you may spend several days in a local jail, a violation conviction will not add to your criminal record.


There are three misdemeanor classifications in New York State: A, B, and Unclassified. Misdemeanors are more serious than violations. As such, they will affect your criminal record. Misdemeanor offenses are those that can result in your incarceration between 16 days and 1 year, regardless of the classification level. Examples of each classification include:

Class A Misdemeanors:

• Penal Law 120.14: Menacing in the Second Degree
• Penal Law 120.50: Stalking in the Third Degree
• Penal Law 145.60: Making Graffiti
• Penal Law 170.05: Forgery in the Third Degree
• Penal Law: 230.04: Patronizing a Prostitute in the Third Degree

Class B Misdemeanors:

• Penal Law 120.45: Stalking in the Fourth Degree
• Penal Law 145.25: Reckless Endangerment of Property
• Penal Law 230.00: Prostitution
• Penal Law 245.00: Public Lewdness
• Penal Law 250.25: Tampering With Private Communications

Unclassified Misdemeanors:

• Vehicle and Traffic Law 511: Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle
• Vehicle and Traffic Law 512: Operating While Registration Suspended/Revoked
• Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192(2): Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)
• Vehicle and Traffic Law 1212: Reckless Driving

Class A misdemeanors are considered the worst types of these crimes. They are a stage below felonies. In fact, some prosecutions will offer reduced plea deals if you agree to plead guilty to a Class A misdemeanor instead of the felony you are being charged with. However, you should also note that repeat misdemeanor convictions may lead to more serious felony charges.


Felonies are the most serious types of offenses you can be convicted of in New York State. Felonies are all crimes that can result in over 1 year in prison.

Felonies are considered to be violent or non-violent. Like misdemeanors, felonies fall into different classifications: A-I, A-II, B, C, D and E. Some examples of each of these are as follows:

Class A-I Felonies:

• Penal Law 125.26: Aggravated Murder
• Penal Law 135.25: Kidnapping in the First Degree
• Penal Law 490.25: Crime of Terrorism

Class A-II Felonies:

• Penal Law 130.95: Predatory Sexual Assault
• Penal Law 220.41: Criminal Sale of a Controlled Substance in the Second Degree
• Penal Law 490.50: Criminal Use of a Chemical Weapon or Biological Weapon in the Second Degree

Class B Felonies:

• Penal Law 120.07 (Violent): Gang Assault in the First Degree
• Penal Law 130.35 (Violent): Rape in the First Degree
• Penal Law 125.14 (Non-Violent): Aggravated Vehicular Homicide
• Penal Law 155.42 (Non-Violent): Grand Larceny In the First Degree

Class C Felonies:

• Penal Law 120.09: Assault on a Judge
• Penal Law 125.15 (Non-Violent): Manslaughter in the Second Degree
• Penal Law 125.21: Aggravated Manslaughter in the Second Degree
• Penal Law 221.30 (Non-Violent): Criminal Possession of Marihuana in the First Degree

Class D Felonies:

• Penal Law 120.02 (Violent): Reckless Assault of a Child
• Penal Law 120.05: Assault in the Second Degree
• Penal Law 130.45: Criminal Sexual Assault in the Third Degree
• Penal Law 158.15: (Non-Violent): Welfare Fraud in the Third Degree
• Penal Law 205.15: (Non-Violent): Escape in the First Degree

Class E Felonies:

• Penal Law 130.53 (Violent): Persistent Sexual Abuse
• Penal Law 240.55 (Violent): Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Second Degree
• Penal Law 130.25 (Non-Violent): Rape in the Third Degree
• Penal Law 470.05 (Non-Violent): Money Laundering in the Fourth Degree


Violations, misdemeanors and felonies all come with different penalties. Let us take a look at the general guidelines that dictate what a conviction will likely mean to you.


We have already stated that violations have a maximum jail sentence of 15 days. However, you may also find yourself facing $250 in fines.


Misdemeanors certainly come with consequences that are more severe than those for violations. If you are a repeat offender, however, you need to understand that a judge will likely order the maximum sentence possible.

Violation Classification Sentence Fine
Minimum Maximum
Class A Misdemeanor 16 Days Up to 1 Year Up to $1,000
Class B Misdemeanor No Time Up to 3 Months Up to $500



As the most serious types of offenses, felonies come with the most severe penalties.

Violation Classification Sentence Fine
Minimum Maximum
Class A-I Felony 15 (NV)
to 40 (V) Years
Life In Prison Without the Possibility of Parole Up to $5,000
Class A-II Felony 3 (NV) to 8 (V) Years Life In Prison Without the Possibility of Parole Up to $5,000
Class B Felony 5 (NV) to 8 (V) Years Up to 25 Years Up to $5,000
Class C Felony 3.5 (NV)
to 5 (V) Years
Up to 15 Years Up to $5,000
Class D Felony 1 (NV) to 2 (V) Years Up to 7 Years Up to $5,000
Class E Felony 1 (NV/V) Year Up to 4 Years Up to $5,000



If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in New York State, it is important that you seek the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. With The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. – that is exactly what you get.
Contact The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. today for your free consultation with a qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney!

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