Our New York Incest Defense Attorneys represent clients who are charged with incest in New York State Court. New York State has strict laws that prohibit sexual relationships or marriages between people who are related by blood or marriage. There are three different New York incest charges. Specifically, they are:

  • Incest in the First Degree (Penal Law 255.27),
  • Incest in the Second Degree (Penal Law 255.26), AND
  • Incest in the Third Degree (Penal Law 255.27).

These charges are explained in greater detail below.

What is Considered Incest in New York?

Under New York Penal Law, incest is defined as a relationship between people who know that they are related either through blood or marriage. They can be related as ancestor-descendant, brother-sister, aunt-uncle-niece-nephew and be either full blood or half blood. It is important to know that you can still be charged with Incest, even if it is a consensual relationship between adults. If you believe you are under investigation for these charges, please contact our New York Incest Defense Attorneys to schedule your consultation.

New York Incest in the Third Degree

New York Incest in the Third Degree is the lowest degree of this crime. New York Incest in the Third Degree is codified in Penal Law § 255.25. Under New York Penal Law § 255.25, a person is guilty of Incest in the Third Degree when s/he:

  1. Marries or engages in sexual intercourse, oral sexual conduct or anal sexual conduct
  2. With a person whom he or she knows to be related to him or her,
  3. Whether through marriage or not, as an ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of either the whole or the half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

What Are the Penalties for New York Incest in the Third Degree?

New York Incest in the Third Degree is a Class “E” Non-violent felony. As such, this charge is punishable by a conditional discharge, probation, or up to 1 1/3 to 4 years in jail. Additionally, a conviction will subject you to SORA registration.

New York Incest in the Second Degree

New York Incest in the Second Degree is codified in New York Penal Law § 255.26. Under New York Penal Law § 255.26, a person is guilty of Incest in the Second Degree when s/he:

  1. Commits the crime of rape in the second degree, as defined in section 130.30 of this part, or criminal sexual act in the second degree, as defined in section 130.45 of this part,
  2. Against a person whom he or she knows to be related to him or her,
  3. Whether through marriage or not, as an ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of either the whole or the half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

Simply put, the difference between New York Incest in the Third Degree and New York Incest in the Second Degree is the commission of the additional crime – New York Rape in the Second Degree or Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree. Additionally, if you are charged with New York Incest in the Second Degree, it is likely that you will be charged with Rape in the Second Degree or Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree.

What Are the Penalties for New York Incest in the Second Degree?

Incest in the Second Degree is a Class “D” Non-Violent felony. As such, this crime is punishable by up to 2 1/3 to 7 years in jail. In the event there are mitigating circumstances, the Court can sentence someone to probation, a conditional discharge or a 6 month split. Additionally, a conviction for New York Incest in the Second Degree will subject you to SORA registration.

New York Incest in the First Degree

The most serious of the New York Incest charges is Incest in the First Degree. This charge is codified in § 255.27. Under New York Penal Law § 255.27, a person is guilty of Incest in the First Degree when s/he:

  1. Commits the crime of rape in the first degree, as defined in subdivision three or four of section 130.35 of this part, or criminal sexual act in the first degree, as defined in subdivision three or four of section 130.50 of this part,
  2. Against a person whom he or she knows to be related to him or her,
  3. Whether through marriage or not, as an ancestor, descendant, brother or sister of either the whole or half blood, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece.

What Are the Penalties for New York Incest in the First Degree?

New York Incest in the First Degree is a Class “B” Violent Felony. As such, this charge is punishable by 5 to 25 years jail. Additionally, if you are charged with New York Incest in the First Degree, it is also likely that you will be charged with Rape in the First Degree or Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree. Additionally, a conviction for New York Incest in the First Degree will subject you to SORA registration.

What Defenses Are Available to New York Incest Charges? 

There isn’t a single defense that applies to New York Incest Charges. Each case is unique and requires extensive development of a defense strategy. These are some common that apply to New York Incest Cases. However, it is important that you consult an experienced New York Incest Defense Attorney for the development of your case strategy.

Lack Of Knowledge About Familial Relationship

It is a requirement of all three New York Incest charges that your conduct was knowing. Thus, if you did not know of your familial or marital relationship to another individual, you cannot be arrested and charged with Incest under New York law.

False Charges

Unfortunately, sometimes Incest charges are filed for the sole reason of getting custody of a child, or getting a higher divorce settlement. If the charges are false, truth is a defense to prosecution for incest charges. Even if you are not guilty of these charges, it is essential that you have a New York Incest Defense attorney representing you.

Inability to Consent

In some situations, you cannot be charged with a crime if you did not have the legal capacity to consent to participation in the criminal conduct. That is to say, if you could not form a criminal intent, you cannot be prosecuted for a crime. Commonly, the following are reasons for inability to consent:

  • Not reaching the legal age of consent;
  • Intoxication;
  • Limited mental capacity.

Contact New York Incest Defense Attorneys Today

If you or your loved one have been arrested or believe you are under investigation for incest charges, you need experienced New York Incest Defense Attorneys by your side. We have handled numerous sex crimes and other serious felonies all across the state. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.