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Minimum sentencing laws in New York

| Aug 21, 2020 | Theft And Property Crimes |

New York has a minimum sentencing law that covers the most serious crimes. The judge must sentence a convicted person to at least the minimum prison term, but less than the maximum term for that offense. 

Review common crimes that have a prison sentence for a conviction in New York. 

Class A felonies

New York law states a minimum prison term of 15 years for most Class A-I felonies. These crimes have a maximum sentence of 25 years. 

First-degree and second-degree murder has a minimum sentence of 20 years. The maximum murder sentence is death or life in prison without parole. 

Class A-II felonies such as predatory sexual assault have a minimum sentence of three years. The maximum jail term is eight years and four months. 

Other felony offenses

Other felonies have a minimum sentence ranging from 12 months to 1/3 of the established maximum sentence as follows: 

  • Violent Class B felony such as gang assault, first-degree robbery or first-degree manslaughter: Eight to 25 years in prison 
  • Nonviolent Class B felony such as vehicular homicide, drug trafficking or welfare fraud: Eight to 25 years in prison 
  • Class C felony such as robbery or criminal weapon use: Five to 15 years in prison 
  • Class C nonviolent felony such as drug possession: One to 15 years in prison 
  • Class D violent felony such as weapons possession or terroristic threats: Two to seven years in prison 
  • Class E felony such as persistent sexual abuse or attempted weapons possession: One to four years in prison 

The New York sentencing guidelines also increase the sentences for some crimes. For example, a crime involving a child may result in a longer prison term. 


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