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The State of New York has three types of misdemeanor offenses: Class A, Class B, and unclassified misdemeanors. Class A misdemeanor offenses are the most serious, while Class B misdemeanors are less serious. Unclassified misdemeanors refer primarily to traffic, vehicle, and other areas of New York State law; DWI and DUI also fall into this category.

Facing misdemeanor charges in Westchester? The Law Office of Michael D. Litman is here to help. Call (914) 268-6855 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with our skilled criminal defense team.

Types of Misdemeanor Charges & Penalties in New York

Punishments for New York misdemeanor convictions are governed by P.L. § 70.15.

Unless otherwise specified by law, once convicted you could be sentenced by the court to pay a fine, serve a jail sentence, serve a probation sentence, or a combination of those punishments.

Class A Misdemeanor

Penalties for a Class A misdemeanor can include no jail time for many first-offenses and up to a maximum county jail sentence of one year. Probation of up to three years is possible, as is a conditional discharge. Fines may also be assessed, as well as mandatory state surcharges (court costs), community service and – if the judge deems it appropriate – orders of protection in favor of the victim.

Class B Misdemeanor

Like Class A misdemeanors, Class B penalties range from:

  • No jail to as much as 90 days
  • One year probation
  • A conditional discharge
  • Fines and surcharges
  • Community service
  • And orders of protection

Unclassified Misdemeanor

For DWI/DUI offenses, a first conviction could mean a fine of between $500 and $1,000 and up to a year in jail.

Other DWI/DUI penalties could include:

Examples of Each Level of New York Misdemeanor Crimes

There are 116 Class A and 39 Class B misdemeanors in the State of New York. Below are frequently charged crimes of both classifications:

Class A

Some (not all) subsequent charges (second, third, etc.) of the following crimes could be prosecuted as a felony:

  • Assault 3rd (P.L. § 120.00)
  • Criminal impersonation 2nd (P.L. § 190.25)
  • Criminal mischief 4th (P.L. § 145.00)
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance 7th (P.L. § 220.03)
  • Criminal possession of a weapon 4th (P.L. § 265.01)
  • Criminal possession of marijuana 4th (P.L. § 221.15)
  • Criminal possession of stolen property 5th (P.L. § 165.40)
  • Criminal sale of marijuana 4th (P.L. § 221.40)
  • Criminal trespass 2nd (P.L. § 140.15)
  • Endangering the welfare of a child (P.L. § 260.10)
  • Identity theft 3rd (P.L. § 190.78)
  • Obstruction of governmental administration (P.L. § 195.05)
  • Petit larceny (P.L. § 155.25)
  • Possession of burglar’s tools (P.L. § 140.35)
  • Reckless endangerment 2nd (P.L. § 120.20)
  • Resisting arrest (P.L. § 205.30)
  • Stalking 3rd (P.L. § 120.50)

Class B

Subsequent charges of some of these crimes could be prosecuted as a Class A misdemeanor or even a felony for a third or fourth offense:

  • Criminal sale of marijuana 5th (P.L. § 221.35)
  • Criminal trespass 3rd (P.L. § 140.10)
  • False personation (P.L. § 190.23)
  • Issuing a bad check (P.L. § 190.05)
  • Possession of graffiti instruments (P.L. § 145.65)
  • Possession of marijuana 5th (P.L. § 221.10)
  • Prostitution (P.L. § 230.00)
  • Public lewdness (P.L. § 245.00)
  • Sexual abuse 3rd (P.L. § 130.55)
  • Stalking 4th (P.L. § 120.45)


The misdemeanors found in the Vehicle and Traffic Law (V.T.L.) are not classified as A or B misdemeanors, but they can result in similar sentences.

Subsequent or aggravated charges of some of these crimes can be prosecuted as felonies:

  • Aggravated unlicensed operation (V.T.L. § 511.1 and 511.2)
  • Driving while intoxicated or impaired (V.T.L. § 1192.2, 1192.2A, 1192.3, 1192.4 and 1192.4A)
  • Reckless driving (V.T.L. § 1212)

The Difficulty of Having a Criminal Record

Although having a misdemeanor conviction on your criminal record is not as serious as being convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor conviction can disqualify you from getting certain jobs or possibly prevent you from attending the college or university for which you’ve worked so hard to be accepted.

If a person is charged with a misdemeanor is 18 years old or younger, sometimes their attorney can get them deemed to be a youthful offender (YO). This would seal the minor’s record to the public, and it would be considered a YO adjudication, not a criminal conviction.

However, if a person given a YO adjudication is arrested again in the future, the prosecutor will likely be able to see that there was a prior YO adjudication, and take that into consideration when determining how to handle the new case.

How An Experienced New York Defense Lawyer Can Help

If you are charged with a misdemeanor in the State of New York, you need to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Only a seasoned defense lawyer who is familiar with the laws, and the way the Court and the prosecutor handles them, can accurately assess the charges you face, give you advice about what to do, and understand your prospects for acquittal or a possible plea bargain.

If you speak to police or make any decision about your case without first consulting an attorney, the prospects of properly defending yourself considerably diminish.

Work with our Westchester misdemeanor defense lawyer today! Call Michael Litman at (914) 268-6855, or online to make an appointment for a free analysis of your case.

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