Charged with a Violation

Advice On A Full Range Of Violations Matters

By Jeffrey D. Cohen, Esq.

In New York, a “Violation” is an offense other than a “traffic infraction”, where a conviction or guilty plea can result in a sentence of up to 15 days in jail, a fine, and/or community service. A sentence to pay a fine for a violation shall be a sentence to pay an amount, fixed by the court, not exceeding two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00).

In New York State, violations are not considered crimes. Therefore, if you plead guilty to a violation you will not have a criminal record as a result of that particular plea- unlike misdemeanor or felony convictions, which do establish a criminal record. Even though a violation will not give you a criminal record, you still need an attorney to fight for your rights and get you the best possible disposition. Call Jeffrey Cohen at 718-275-5900 with experience in Queens, Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

The following is a description of each Violation in New York along with the Penal Law Section, which defines the elements of each charge.

Violations in New York include:
Appearance in Public Under the Influence of Narcotics or a Drug, Other than Alcohol 240.40
Criminal Solicitation in the 5th Degree 100.00
Disorderly Conduct 240.20
Exposure of a Person 250.01
Failing to Respond to an Appearance Ticket 215.58
Harassment in the 2nd Degree 240.26
Hazing in the 2nd Degree 120.17
Loitering 140.35
Misconduct by a Juror in the 2nd Degree 215.28
Offensive Exhibition 245.05
Promoting Exposure of a Person 245.02
Trespass 140.05
Unlawful Possession of a Weapon on School Grounds 265.06
Unlawful Possession of Marijuana 221.05
Unlawful Prevention of Public Access to Records 240.65
Unlawfully Posting Advertisements 145.30
Two most common Violations in New York State:

“A person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person: 1. He or she strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects such other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same; or 2. He or she follows a person in or about a public place or places; or 3. He or she engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits act, which alarm or seriously annoy such other person and which serve no legitimate purpose.” New York Penal Law § 240.26.


“A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof: 1. He engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or 2. He makes unreasonable noise; or 3. In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture; or 4. Without lawful authority, he disturbs any lawful assembly or meeting of persons; or 5. He obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or 6. He congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or 7. He creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.” New York Penal Law § 240.20.

A Disorderly Conduct is often a favorable plea taken when charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. A criminal defense attorney may often be able to get more serious charges reduced to a disorderly conduct.


At first, a violation may not seem like a big deal. Although, if convicted, a violation will not result in a criminal record- it may result in jail time, fines, and/or community service. This can largely and negatively impact your life, especially for someone with no criminal record. Therefore, it is in your best interest to hire an attorney, especially if the Violation is accompanied by Misdemeanor or Felony charges. The sooner you hire a lawyer, the faster they can act to protect your rights. A criminal defense attorney may also be able to reduce or dismiss the violation charge.

Queens Criminal Defense Lawyer
Law Offices of Jeffrey D. Cohen


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Law Offices of Jeffrey D. Cohen

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