In New York, it’s illegal to commit a crime. It’s also illegal to help someone commit a crime. Criminal facilitation in the third degree is a violation of New York Penal Law 115.01.
Helping someone commit a crime is called criminal facilitation. You also might think of it as being an accessory to a crime. Not only is it illegal to commit crimes in New York, it’s also illegal to help someone else commit a crime.
In one example, Matt wants to buy heroin. He asks his friend Pat if he knows anyone that sells heroin. Pat contacts his friend Peter. Pat gives Peter’s number to Matt. Peter and Matt meet and make the sale.
In this case, Pat has committed criminal facilitation. He helped Matt commit the crime of possessing heroin. He also helped Peter sell heroin. Pat can face charges for his actions in helping facilitate the crime.
Degrees of the offense
New York law divides the crime of facilitation into four different degrees. The degrees take a number of things into account when determining the seriousness of the offense. These things include your age, the age of the person you help and the crime that the person ultimately commits.
Facilitation in the first degree is the most serious of the facilitation offenses. Fourth-degree facilitation is the least serious of the facilitation charges, and third-degree facilitation is slightly more serious than fourth-degree solicitation. To constitute facilitation in the third degree, you must be at least eighteen years old.
In addition, you must believe that it’s likely that the person that you are helping is under sixteen. The person you help must intend to commit a felony. You must give the person the aid and the means to commit the felony. The person you help must actually go on to commit the felony.
If you’re convicted of criminal facilitation in the third degree, you’ve committed a class E felony. The maximum prison sentence is four years in prison. The court can also place you on probation for another five years. You can also pay a substantial fine. Because of the seriousness of the offense, it’s important to meet with a team of NYC criminal attorneys to discuss all of your available defenses.
At Spodek Law Group, we help people who are charged with criminal facilitation prepare an aggressive defense to the full extent of the law. One common defense to the charge of criminal facilitation in the third degree is that you are not over eighteen years old. You can also defend the charge on the grounds that the person you help is over the age of sixteen.
You can also tell the jury that no person involved ever committed a crime. If no felony occurs, criminal facilitation in the third degree can’t occur. You can also attack the allegation that you did something to help the person commit a crime. If you didn’t do anything to facilitate the person’s crime, you’re not guilty of the charge.
Your attorney can also help you explore possible pretrial motions that can help you defend yourself against the charges. The police have to collect evidence in lawful ways. If they violate your constitutional rights to gather evidence against you, you can ask the court to throw out that evidence. The police need to read you Miranda rights before they perform a custodial interrogation. If they fail to comply with the law when they build their case, the result can be that the court throws out the evidence against you.