LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney George Peter Conway | Sep 9, 2010

General Overview of Misdemeanors In New York

A misdemeanor is a crime. New York law defines a misdemeanor as an offense, other than a 'traffic infraction", for which a sentence in excess of fifteen days may be imposed but which a sentence of imprisonment in excess of one year cannot be imposed. Prosecution of a misdemeanor must be started within two years of the crime. New York law classifies misdemeanors into three categories for purposes of sentencing: class A misdemeanors; class B misdemeanors and unclassified misdemeanors. All misdemeanors carry a definite sentence that is fixed by the court. A sentence of imprisonment for a class A- misdemeanor may not exceed one year. A sentence of imprisonment for a class-B misdemeanor may not exceed three months. A sentence of imprisonment for an unclassified misdemeanor carries a sentence specified by the ordinance or law that defines the crime. A person sentenced to imprisonment for a misdemeanor serves out their sentence of imprisonment in the local county jail. Class A misdemeanor probation is three years. Class B misdemeanor probation is one year. A court can impose a fine in most cases of no more than one thousand dollars for a class A misdemeanor. A court can impose a fine of no more than five hundred dollars for a class B misdemeanor. A court can impose a fine specified by the ordinance or law that defines an unclassified misdemeanor. A person convicted of a misdemeanor must pay a mandatory surcharge of one hundred forty dollars and crime victim assistance fee of twenty dollars. Sex offenses carry additional surcharges.

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