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Provide massages without License in New York

New York, NY |

If I open an spa offering Chinese massage, all the body workers have no license. I understand you need a license to practice massage in New York State.

So what is the worst thing could happen to me as the owner?

Can I argue that, since there are an AWFUL lot of Chinese Massage places that I can even give out long list, so the police should not just punish me, if they want to charge me for something, they should charge ALL the places that have NO license. can I argue this?

Thank you very much!

Follow Up Question --------------------- Thank you very much for your answer Mr. Michelen, But could please tell me that what will happen to the owner? I understand that , it is a felony to practice massage without a license, but should the owner be responsible too? Thanks.

Attorney Answers 1


  1. No you cannot argue that, unless you want to go to jail. The police can arrest and prosecute some locations and not others. What you are referring to is "selective prosecution" and is almost impossible to prove as a constitutional violation. Unlicensed massage in NY is a FELONY - not just a misdemeanor (which is a lower level crime) While not everyone who is charged with this goes to jail, if you get convicted it may be a deportable offense if you are not a citizen. If you are a citizen a felony can make your life difficult if you try to get credit or a new job or a license of any kind. Many times it can be reduced to a non-criminal offense. You should advertise for "a body rub" and not a massage andthat may help.