New York Penal Law 135.60 is coercion in the second degree. It’s a form of bribery, and it’s punishable by up to one year in jail. Defined as a Class A misdemeanor, it also comes with the potential for up to three years of probation with or without a jail term for anyone found guilty of this crime in New York. To put it simply, coercion in the second degree is the act of requiring another person to engage in an act or perform a service they do not want to do, are not legally required to do, or they are uncomfortable with using a method of bribery that might compel them to do as they are told.
It’s illegal, it’s dangerous, and it’s often a way people get what they want. Unlike a child who might hear a parent tell them they must clean their room or they will lose their outdoor playtime privileges for a full day, this type of bribery is performed using illegal means. Those who are found guilty could face jail time or probation depending on the recommendation of the judge and those who are filing charges against you when you engage in illegal coercion.
Examples of Coercion in the Second Degree
When a person bribes another person for things they want done, it’s coercion. Take a woman who wants to have her ex-husband to pay her alimony in their divorce. He has no interest in paying her alimony, so she makes the decision to bribe him. She has a tape of the two of them engaging in a very intimate moment from their honeymoon. If he doesn’t agree to pay her alimony, she will take it upon herself to release that tape on the internet. It’s something that will ruin his career, but she doesn’t care.
She’s coercing him to do something she wants done by bribing him with something that will encourage him to do what she wants. It’s illegal, but it leaves the man in a very difficult situation. He now has to make a choice to allow someone to ruin his life or to do something he’s not comfortable doing. He can turn her in for this, and it can cause her to spend serious time in jail if she is found guilty of coercion in the second degree.
There are several defenses you might use in a case like this, but it’s imperative you call for the assistance of a NYC criminal attorney before the process begins. It’s not easy to get off on a charge like this without an attorney present to help you through your trial. The first defense has to do with the injuries the other person sustained. If a person did not sustain serious injuries as a result of coercion in the second degree, it’s possible charges will be dropped.
Injuries could mean anything from financial injury to personal injury to the loss of a job. Without injury, a coercion trial might turn into nothing more than a bribe gone wrong. It might work in your favor if you are the defendant, but it’s not always a guarantee. The other defense is you didn’t coerce anyone into doing anything. The job of an attorney with experience in this type of trial is to help you present your own case and walk way without a prison sentence. It’s possible your defense could take jail off the table and replace it with a minor probation term to serve as your punishment.
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