New York Criminal Tampering charges involve tampering with someone else’s property with intent to cause substantial inconvenience to the property owner. Under New York Law, there are three different criminal tapering charges. Specifically, they are:

  • Criminal Tampering in the First Degree,
  • Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree, AND
  • Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree.

Generally, the difference in these charges depends on the nature of the property tampered with. The difference between New York Tampering Charges is explained in greater detail below.

New York Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree

The charge of Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree is codified in New York Penal Law Section 145.14. This charge is the least serious of New York Criminal Tampering charges. Under Penal Law 145.14, a person is guilty of Criminal tampering in the Third Degree when:

  1. Having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right,
  2. S/he tampers with property of another person
  3. With intent to cause substantial inconvenience to such person or to a third person.

Sentencing and Penalties for New York Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree

Under New York Law, Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree is a Class “B” Misdemeanor. This charge is punishable by:

  • Jail time up to 90 days,
  • Probation,
  • Conditional Discharge (with conditions set by the court – such as community service, or payment of restitution),
  • Unconditional Discharge (no sentencing conditions set by the Court),
  • Time served (even if it’s just the time spent in arrest processing).

New York Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree

Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree is codified in New York Penal Law Section 145.15. Under New York Penal Law Section 145.15, a person is guilty of Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree when:

  1. Having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right,
  2. S/he tampers or makes connection with property of a gas, electric, sewer, steam or water-works corporation, telephone or telegraph corporation, common carrier, nuclear powered electric generating facility, or public utility operated by a municipality or district.

Sentencing and Penalties for New York Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree

Under New York Law, Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree is a Class “A” misdemeanor. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • Up to 1 year in prison,
  • Probation (2 to 3 years),
  • Conditional Discharge (with conditions of the sentence set by the court, such as payment of restitution),
  • Unconditional Discharge (no sentencing conditions),
  • Time Served (even if it is minimal).

New York Criminal Tampering in the First Degree

Criminal Tampering in the First Degree is codified in New York Penal Law Section 145.20. This is the most serious of New York Criminal Tampering charges and it’s a felony. A person is guilty of Criminal Tampering in the First Degree when:

  1. Either intent to cause a substantial interruption or impairment of a service rendered to the public,
  2. Having no right to do so nor any reasonable ground to believe that he or she has such right,
  3. S/he damages or tampers with property of a gas, electric, sewer, steam or water-works corporation, telephone or telegraph corporation, common carrier, nuclear powered electric generating facility, or public utility operated by a municipality or district, AND
  4. Thereby causes such substantial interruption or impairment of service.

Sentencing and Penalties for New York Criminal Tampering in the First Degree

Under New York Law, Criminal Tampering in the First Degree is a Class “D” Non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by:

  • Indeterminate sentence of imprisonment up to 2 1/3 to 7 years,
  • Determinate sentence of imprisonment up to 1 year or less,
  • Probation (if there are mitigating circumstances in the case).

Defenses to New York Criminal Tampering Charges

Owner’s Consent

It is a defense to all Criminal Tampering charges that the conduct was done with the owner’s consent. Additionally, if you had a reasonable belief that you had the owner’s consent, that may be a viable defense to criminal tampering charges.

Lack of Unlawful Purpose

There is an affirmative defense of lack of unlawful or wrongful purpose to the Criminal Tampering in the Second Degree charge. If the Defendant establishes that s/he did not engage in such conduct for a larcenous, or otherwise unlawful or wrongful purpose. This defense does not apply to Criminal Tampering in the First Degree or Criminal Tampering in the Third Degree.

Contact Top Rated New York Criminal Tampering Attorneys

Criminal Tampering charges can result in a criminal record as well as jail time. Finding the right criminal defense attorney can make all the difference with your case. Read our client testimonials and schedule your consultation today.