Like other New York felonies, violent crimes are subdivided into “grades” of crime that range from A to E with A class offenses being the most serious and E the least. Managing any violent offense will require an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney.
Implications of “Violent Crime” Classification
There are two main differences between violent and non-violent felonies:
(1) Violent felonies have a mandatory minimum sentence which a judge cannot go below except in rare circumstances.
(2) Until 9/1/15, all violent offenses are given “determinate sentences” meaning a judge gives a sentence in years which must be served in full. Starting 9/1/15, most violent crimes, like other felonies, will be eligible for “indeterminate” sentencing meaning the judge imposes a range and the parole board decides when it is appropriate to release the offender.
Levels of Violent Crime and Their Punishments
Class A: These are the most serious offenses and include convictions for degrees of murder as well as crimes such 1st degree kidnapping and 1st degree arson. Penalties: 1st degree murder carries a possible sentence of death or life imprisonment. Other crimes can include punishments that range from a minimum of 15 or more years in prison to life imprisonment. Only the best criminal lawyer in New York can defend a Class A felony.
Class B: These offenses range from attempted Class A crimes, almost all levels of manslaughter, and a variety of serious crimes such as levels of robbery, kidnapping, and arson. What is a surprise to many is that in some cases even the sale of a firearm can be classified as a B level felony. Penalties for most Class B crimes range from a minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 25 years.
Class C: These offenses include assault on a peace officer, lower degrees of manslaughter, robbery, and burglary, as well as many firearms violations. Penalties for Class C crimes range from a minimums of 3.5 years to a maximum of 25 years.
Class D: These include menacing a peace officer, reckless assault of a child, and other sexual and firearms offenses. Penalties for Class D crimes range from a minimum of 2 years to a maximum of 7 years.
Class E: The lowest level of felony, these include attempts to commit various gun crimes. Penalties for Class E crimes range from a minimum of 1.5 year to a maximum of 4 years.
If you are charged with a New York violent crime, you need to contact a New York City criminal defense attorney. Call Frederick L. Sosinsky at (212) 285-2270.