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New York Penal Law 260.20: Unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree

By Spodek Law Group | May 6, 2017
(Last Updated On: December 16, 2023)

Last Updated on: 16th December 2023, 12:51 am

New York Penal Law § 260.20 concerns subjecting children to activities that are unsuitable for a minor, such as participating in sexual activity, getting a tattoo, or using illegal drugs. In New York, there are two different categories for unlawfully dealing with a child. These are distinguished based on the seriousness of the activities involving the child.
A person can be charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree if they knowingly allow a child who is less than 18 years old to continue staying in a place where sexual activity is occurring, or where an activity is taking place that involves a controlled substance or marijuana. A person can also be charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree if they provide or sell alcoholic beverages for a person who is under the age of 21.
Examples of Unlawfully Dealing with a Child in the First Degree
If someone has controlled substances in their apartment, such as heroine, and they also have children in the apartment, then they can be charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree.
If someone purchases a beer for someone who is underage and then gives it to them, then they could also be charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree. It’s important to note that, for the purposes of alcoholic beverages, this law refers to anyone who is under the age of 21. Even if the person receiving the alcohol is 20, the alcohol provider can still be charged with unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree.
Defenses Against Unlawfully Dealing with a Child in the First Degree
Defending against unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree depends on which section of the law is being argued. If the defendant supplied beer to someone who was under the age of 21, then they can potentially avoid prosecution altogether if they have not been previously charged with the same crime within the past five years. Instead of being prosecuted in this scenario, the defendant will instead be forced to take an alcohol training awareness program.
This defense is valid regardless of how much evidence the prosecution has of the violation, as long as the defendant has not had the same charge in the past five years.
Another potential defense is to prove whether or not a person knowingly allowed a child to remain on the property where illicit activities were taking place. If the defendant had a reason to believe that the child was not actually underage, then that could potentially be presented as a defense. Of course, a NYC criminal lawyer can help defendants prepare a defense based on the circumstances surrounding their specific charges.
Sentencing for Unlawfully Dealing with a Child in the First Degree
Since unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree is considered to be a class A misdemeanor, a person convicted of it could face up to one year in jail. Aside from potential jail time, a person convicted of unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree can also face up to three years of probation, as well as a considerably large fine.
Given the severity of being convicted of unlawfully dealing with a child in the first degree, it’s recommended that anyone facing these charges find a professional legal representative to help them handle their case and build a reliable defense.

New York Penal Law 260.21: Unlawfully dealing with a child in the second degree

New York has strict laws in place designed to protect the rights and safety of minors who are under the age of 18. New York penal code 260.21, unlawfully dealing with a child carries stiff penalties for those who are convicted of this crime. Below is an outline of this penal code and the possible defenses that attorneys may use to clear their client of charges. If you have been charged with violating this penal code, contact a NYC criminal defense attorney at once to discuss your case.
The law defines New York penal code infractions as:

  • Allowing A Child Under 18 To Get A Tattoo
  • Exposing A Minor To Unlawful Sexual Activity
  • Allowing A Minor To Drink Alcohol
  • Giving Drugs To A Minor Child
  • Exposing A Minor Child To The Sale Of Drugs
  • Selling Alcohol To A Person Under 21

Charges similar to this one are endangering the welfare of a child and unlawfully dealing with a child in the second degree in New York.
This crime is a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties imposed by the state of New York for violation of penal code 260.21 are as follows:

  • Jail Time Up To 1 Year
  • 3 Years Probation After Jail Sentence
  • Fines As Determined By The Court

If you have not been convicted of the crime of unlawfully dealing with a child in the second degree in the past 5 years, you may be able to avoid prosecution for this crime. In most instances, the court would require you to complete a drug and alcohol awareness training class insread of jail time. You may be placed on probation, however as deamed fair by the court.
Possible Defenses
Even though this crime is a misdemeanor, it can still have a negative impact on your life. For this reason, it is best to seek the legal counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney may do the following to defend you:

  • Investigate Your Case
  • Negotiate A Lighter Sentence With The Prosecution
  • Suggest Alternative Sentencing

When imposing sentences for this crime, the court takes into consideration the background of the defendant and whether or not there was a past criminal history. Most first time offenders do not receive jail time unless there are extenuating circumstances involved. However, there is no guarantee of a light sentence which is why you need a criminal defense attorney on your side.
Facing charges outlined in New York penal code 260.21 is very serious and being convicted could change your life in many unpleasant ways. Contact a criminal defense attorney today to learn how he could help defend you against these charges in court. Not only would a conviction damage your reputation, it could cause you to be incarcarated for up to 1 year. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will ease your mind, knowing your future is in competent hands. In many cases, defense attorney’s are able to negotiate a deal with the prosecution before court. Do not leave your future to chance, schedule an appointment with a criminal defense attorney today to learn what options are available to you under the law.

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