What is the Difference Between a Crime and a Violation in NY?

The state of New York has a distinction between a violation and a crime in criminal laws. A criminal conviction has permanent consequences and remain on your criminal record. A violation, on the other hand, does not leave a permanent record.

The three levels of offenses in New York are:

  • Violation
  • Misdemeanor
  • Felony

Depending on the seriousness of the offense at hand, it will fall under one of these categories and the penalties will vary accordingly.

Here is a brief explanation of each category:

Violation: In New York, these are written into the penal code, but they are not considered to be crimes. Since the offenses are not classified as crimes, a conviction will not involve jail time. On top of that, these offenses do not remain on your criminal record. They can affect your driving record, if it was a traffic violation. An example of a violation is simple marijuana possession.

Misdemeanor: A misdemeanor is a criminal offense, but one on the lower level. There are several classes of misdemeanors and they range in severity from A to C. Misdemeanors are more serious than violations in that they do remain on your criminal record and can result in jail time and fines. The jail time; however, is generally only up to one year.

Felony: A felony is another level of criminal offenses, but the penalties are more severe than those that follow a misdemeanor. There are different classes of felonies as well and they range from A to E. The potential penalties for a felony could be anywhere from one year to life in prison along with fines.

The key thing to note with the difference between a violation and a misdemeanor or felony is that a violation is not a crime, while misdemeanors and felonies are. If you have any further questions about this distinction do not hesitate to give us a call.

You can reach us at (888) 715-1735 or you can schedule a free case evaluation.

Categories: Criminal Defense
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Law Office of Kevin P. O’Donnell
Queens Criminal Defense Attorney

125-10 Queens Boulevard, Suite 15
Queens, NY 11415. (888) 715-1735| Local Phone: (718) 285-9355.