Criminal Sexual Act (NYPL 130.40-50)

Criminal sexual act in the third degree includes oral sexual contact between a minor who is younger than 17 and a defendant of any age. The charge of criminal sexual act in the third degree is similar to the charge of rape in the third degree. The difference is that rape involves sexual intercourse involving the penis penetrating the vagina, while criminal sexual act involves oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct.

Criminal sexual act in the second degree includes oral sexual contact between a minor who is younger than 13 when the defendant is at least 18 years old or at least 4 years older than the victim.

Criminal sexual act in the first degree includes oral sexual contact between a minor who is younger than 11 and a defendant of any age. It also includes a minor who is younger than 13 when the defendant is at least 18 years old.

Criminal sexual act in the third degree. N. Y. Penal Law § 130.40

A person is guilty of criminal sexual act in the third degree when:

  1. He/she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 17 years old;
  2. Being 21 years old or more, he/she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with a person less than 17 years old; or
  3. He/she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person without such person’s consent where such lack of consent is by reason of some factor other than incapacity to consent.

Criminal sexual act in the third degree is a class E felony, which incurs up to 4 years in prison.

Depending upon the circumstances of the incident it is very possible that you will face additional charges such as rape in the third degree, forcible touching, and endangering the welfare of a child. Either a man or a woman may be charged, prosecuted and convicted of criminal sexual act. The statute does not specify that the perpetrator in a case of criminal sexual act in the third degree must be male and the victim female.

Criminal sexual act in the second degree. N. Y. Penal Law § 130.45

A person is guilty of criminal sexual act in the second degree when:

  1. Being 18 years old or more, he/she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person less than 15 years old; or
  2. He/she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally disabled or mentally incapacitated.

It shall be an affirmative defense to the crime of criminal sexual act in the second degree as defined in subdivision one of this section that the defendant was less than 4 years older than the victim at the time of the act.

Criminal sexual act in the second degree is a class D felony, which incurs up to 7 years in prison.

Criminal sexual act in the first degree. N. Y. Penal Law § 130.50

A person is guilty of criminal sexual act in the first degree when he/she engages in oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct with another person:

  1. By forcible compulsion; or
  2. Who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless; or
  3. Who is less than 11 years old; or
  4. Who is less than thirteen years old and the actor is 18 years old or more.

Criminal sexual act in the first degree is a class B felony, which incurs at least 5 (and up to 25) years in prison. In order for you to be charged with criminal sexual act in the first degree, the prosecutor must be able to show that there was a lack of consent. N.Y. Pen. Law § 130.05

Oral sexual conduct means conduct between persons consisting of contact between the mouth and the penis, the mouth and the anus, or the mouth and the vulva or vagina. Anal sexual conduct means conduct between persons consisting of contact between the penis and anus. N. Y. Penal Law § 130.00.

A mere accusation of committing a criminal sexual act, or any sex crime can be damaging to both your personal life and your professional life.

A charge of criminal sexual act can lead to several other criminal charges and could ultimately result in you spending years in jail. Because of the potential consequences of such a charge, you should immediately contact a criminal immigration lawyer who is familiar with defending people accused of or charged with criminal sexual act, rape, and other sex offenses

Kidnapping (NYPL 135.20)

Kidnapping is one of the most serious crimes in New York’s criminal code.  While on television crime dramas kidnapping cases often involving a stranger being kidnapped in an effort to get money, in reality the victims of kidnapping are commonly family members and acquaintances.   Regardless of who the victim is, kidnapping is considered one of the most serious crimes.  Like the crime of murder, if you are convicted of the most serious kidnapping charge, you could end up spending the rest of your life in prison.   Kidnapping is defined as abducting another person.   There are two kidnapping offenses:  kidnapping in the second degree and kidnapping in the first degree.   Both are felonies.

Kidnapping charges

If you abduct someone you will be charged with kidnapping in the second degree.   N.Y. Pen. Law § 135.20.  Abducting someone is defined as restraining a person in a secret place or retraining a person by using or threatening to use deadly physical force.  It is a Class B felony.  Because kidnapping in the second degree is also classified as a violent felony, if you are convicted you will be sentenced to at least 5 years in prison and you could be sentenced to up to 25 years.

You will face the more serious charge of kidnapping in the first degree if you abduct someone and:

  • You require the payment of ransom or performance or non-performance of certain acts
  • You restrain the victim for more than 12 hours in order to injure the victim, sexually abuse the victim, commit a felony, terrorize a third person, or interfere with governmental or political activities
  • The victim dies

Kidnapping in the first degree is a class A-I felony.  N.Y. Pen. Law § 135.20.  If you are convicted you will be sentenced to at least 20 years in prison and you could end up spending the rest of your life in prison.

Unlawful imprisonment and custodial interference distinguished

Kidnapping is distinguishable from the crime of unlawful imprisonment.  Unlawful imprisonment involves only restraining the victim and not abducting the victim, while with kidnapping the victim is abducted.  N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 135.05 and 135.10

Another crime that is similar to both kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment is custodial interference. You will be charged with custodial interference if you hold a child who is under the age of 16 and who is relative for a protracted period when you had not right to do so.  N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 135.45 and 135.50

A kidnapping charge is very complicated.  Because there is a possibility that you could end up spending years and years in prison if you are convicted, it is important that you are represented by someone with experience successfully representing clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with serious criminal offenses such as kidnapping.

Child Abuse (NYPL 120.02)

There are several different offenses in New York’s criminal code drafted to punish those who abuse children.  Such crimes include reckless assault of a child, aggravated assaulted upon a person less than eleven, and reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider.  In addition, if you do not take measures to prevent a child from being abused, you may be charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

Reckless assault of a child

Reckless assault of a child is the “shaken baby syndrome” offense.  The prosecutor will charge you with this crime if you are at least 18 years old and abuse a child who is under 5 years old by shaking, slamming or throwing the child, and as a result the child suffers a serious brain injury.   N.Y. Pen. Law §§ 10.00(10) and 120.02.  It is a Class D felony and carries a possible prison sentence of up to 7 years.

Aggravated assault upon a person less than eleven

If you are an adult, meaning that you are at least 18 years old, you assault a child who is less than 11 years old, and within the prior 3 years you have been convicted of assaulting a child who was less than 11 years old.  It is a Class E felony.  N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.12.  The prior conviction must have been for assault in the third degree.

Reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider

If you regularly care for a child at place other than the child’s residence and you recklessly cause serious physical injury to a child who is under 11 years old, then the charge you will face is reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider.   It is a Class E felony.  N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.01.  Unlike the similar crime of reckless assault of a child that requires that the injury be a serious brain injury that is due to shaking, slamming or throwing the child, reckless assault of a child by a child day care provider only requires that the child suffer a serious physical injury.  A serious physical injury is one that creates a substantial risk of death, that causes death, or that causes serious disfigurement or impairment.  N.Y. Pen. Law § 10.00(10).

Other child assault charges

Keep in mind that even if the facts of an assault case do not fit an assault offense that specifically focuses on a victim who is a child, if you abuse a child you can still be charged with one of several other assault charges such as assault in the first, second or third degree.  Furthermore, if you sexually abuse a child, there are several sex crimes with which you could be charged.

Being charged with abusing child is serious.  In addition, child abuse cases are complicated often turning on fuzzy evidentiary issues and testimony of a frightened child.  Thus, if you have been charged with a crime related to child abuse it is critical that you contact an experience New York child abuse attorney who will review the facts of your case and vigorously defend you until your case has been resolved.

Bigamy (NYPL 255.15)

If you want to apply for a marriage license, you have to get the dissolution or annulment of all previous marriages. If one spouse intentionally fails to do this, it results in the crime of bigamy. Bigamy, from french bigamie, from Latin bis, twice, and Greek gamos, marriage is a formal entering into of a marriage while a former one remains undissolved.

Bigamy is not committed if a prior marriage has been terminated by a divorce or a decree of nullity of marriage. Bigamy is committed when the second marriage ceremony is completed. Only the state in which a second marriage was solemnized will have jurisdiction to charge a person on the offence of bigamy.

In bigamy the multiple marriages are usually kept secret by the bigamist. The bigamist has trouble ending one relationship before starting another. If a spouse is absent and unheard of for five years and not known to be alive, he or she is presumed dead, and remarriage by the other spouse is not bigamous. It is not necessarily a defense to a charge of bigamy that the offending party believed in good faith that he was divorced or that his previous marriage was not lawful.

The Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act (37th United States Congress) was a federal enactment of the United States Congress that was signed into law on July 8, 1862 by President Abraham Lincoln. The act banned bigamy and limited church and non-profit ownership in any territory of the United States to $50,000.The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1878 that the polygamy, as originally permitted by the Mormon religion, violated criminal law. Polygamy is when more than two people are in a marriage, but it is still one marriage.

Bigamy. N.Y. Pen. Law § 255.15

A person is guilty of bigamy when he contracts or purports to contract a marriage with another person at a time when he has a living spouse, or the other person has a living spouse.

In some states, bigamy is a misdemeanor. In New York, bigamy is a class E felony, punishable with 3 to 4 years in prison.

All marrying couple should be sure that their previous marriage was dissolved, by ordering a notarized copy of the divorce decree from the county clerk’s office. You can report bigamy to the police. The police will make an arrest depending on whether the spouse knowingly married the second person when the first marriage was not terminated. Bigamy can carry legal consequences, If you have been charged with bigamy, you should contact a criminal defense attorney in New York, to discuss your legal rights.

Forcible Touching (NYPL 130.52)

Criminal sexual act is the New York term for forced oral or anal contact what used to be known as forced sodomy or deviate sexual intercourse.

A relatively recent statute, criminalizing “forcible touching”, was added after high-profile incidents at the Puerto Rico Day Parade in which women were allegedly forcibly touched in a degrading manner. In addition to rape, the New York Penal Code has a variety of crimes relating to sexual touching of both adults and children.

Under New York Law, Forcible Touching is the intentional and forcible touching of another done for the purpose of degrading or abusing another person or done for the purpose of gratifying the perpetrator’s sexual desire.

Forcible touching. N. Y. Penal Law § 130.52

A person is guilty of forcible touching when he/she intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person; or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire.

Forcibly touching another includes squeezing, grabbing, pinching, rubbing, or other bodily contact involving the application of some level of pressure to the victim’s sexual or intimate parts.

Forcible touching is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail.

A conviction can result in shame and embarrassment, a criminal record, jail time, and possible registration as a sex offender.

Intent means conscious objective or purpose. Thus a person intentionally forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person when that person’s conscious objective or purpose is to do so. Penal Law § 15.05 (1).

Although this charge is a misdemeanor, it is absolutely critical that this allegation be taken seriously and that anyone facing such a charge consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Most of the lesser sex crimes trigger sex offender registration. As soon as you are questioned about an incident that could lead to a charge of aggravated sexual abuse, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal lawyer.