A comprehensive on-line digest of New York's criminal code.Laws of New York - This section contains the criminal code of New York's Penal Law
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S 55.00 Applicability of article. The provisions of this article govern the classification and designation of every offense, whether defined within or outside of this chapter. S 55.05 Classifications of felonies and misdemeanors. (Crimes by Offense Level) 1. Felonies. Felonies are classified, for the purpose of sentence, into five categories as follows: (a) Class A felonies; (b) Class B felonies; (c) Class C felonies; (d) Class D felonies; and (e) Class E felonies. Class A felonies are subclassified, for the purpose of sentence, into two categories as follows: subclass I and subclass II, to be known as class A-I and class A-II felonies, respectively. 2. Misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are classified, for the purpose of sentence, into three categories as follows: (a) Class A misdemeanors; (b) Class B misdemeanors; and (c) Unclassified misdemeanors. S 55.10 Designation of offenses. 1. Felonies. (a) The particular classification or subclassification of each felony defined in this chapter is expressly designated in the section or article defining it. (b) Any offense defined outside this chapter which is declared by law to be a felony without specification of the classification thereof, or for which a law outside this chapter provides a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year, shall be deemed a class E felony. 2. Misdemeanors. (a) Each misdemeanor defined in this chapter is either a class A misdemeanor or a class B misdemeanor, as expressly designated in the section or article defining it. (b) Any offense defined outside this chapter which is declared by law to be a misdemeanor without specification of the classification thereof or of the sentence therefor shall be deemed a class A misdemeanor. (c) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of subdivision three, where an offense is defined outside this chapter and a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of fifteen days but not in excess of one year is provided in the law or ordinance defining it, such offense shall be deemed an unclassified misdemeanor. 3. Violations. Every violation defined in this chapter is expressly designated as such. Any offense defined outside this chapter which is not expressly designated a violation shall be deemed a violation if: (a) Notwithstanding any other designation specified in the law or ordinance defining it, a sentence to a term of imprisonment which is not in excess of fifteen days is provided therein, or the only sentence provided therein is a fine; or (b) A sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of fifteen days is provided for such offense in a law or ordinance enacted prior to the effective date of this chapter but the offense was not a crime prior to that date. 4. Traffic infraction. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an offense which is defined as a "traffic infraction" shall not be deemed a violation or a misdemeanor by virtue of the sentence prescribed therefor. Top of Page