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The State Laws of New York

The State Laws of New York


Due to the fact that individual state laws are constantly subject to change, individuals are encouraged to consult an attorney prior to engaging in any activity, action, or event in which the expressed legality may come into question. Furthermore, individuals interested in attaining information with regard to individual state legislature are also encouraged to perform independent research in order to substantiate the relevancy and current state(s) of specific legislation. 

New York Abortion Laws

Within the state of New York, Abortion is defined as the purposeful termination of a pregnancy through procedural means. Subsequent to the decision of Roe v. Wade, abortion became legal within the United States – however, New York state legislation expresses a variety of stipulations with regard to a legal abortion process:

•    A legal abortion may occur in the event that the protection and preservation of the life of the mother carrying a fetus is compromised as a result of a pregnancy; an abortion can take place in order to save the life of the mother only upon accredited and sanctioned medical review

•    An illegal abortion is deemed as an abortion process that occurs in the event that the health and wellbeing of the mother is not in danger; furthermore, an illegal abortion is defined as a procedure that occurs outside of legal, accepted, and authorized medical procedural protocol – in the state of New York, unauthorized individuals conducting abortions may be charged with applicable Class Felonies

•    Abortions granted within the first 12 weeks of pregnancy must take place within an authorized, accredited hospital facility; subsequent to 20 weeks of pregnancy, a licensed medical practitioner must be present for the procedure

New York Same-Sex Marriage Laws

New York recognizes the validity of Same-Sex marriages legally-preformed in other locations

New York Marijuana Laws

Within the state of New York, the possession of Marijuana – or Cannabis products – as well as the acts of growing or distributing marijuana without the expressed permission of the New York State Government is a punishable, criminal offense. The following penalties are associated with Marijuana within the state of New York:

Possession/Under the Influence of Marijuana

1.    Amount: 25 grams or less (first offense)

•    Penalty: none

•    Fines: $100

•    Classification: Civil Citation

2.    Amount: 25 grams or less (second offense)

•    Penalty: none

•    Fines: $200

•    Classification: Civil Citation

3.    Amount: 25 grams or less (3rd offense)

•    Penalty: 5 days’ incarceration 

•    Fines: $250

•    Classification: Misdemeanor

4.    Amount: 25 g to 2 ounces

•    Penalty: 3 months’ incarceration 

•    Fines: $500

•    Classification: Misdemeanor

5.    Amount: 2 to 8 ounces

•    Penalty: 1-4 years’ incarceration 

•    Fines: $1,000

•    Classification: Class A Misdemeanor

6.    Amount: 8 to 16 ounces (first felony)

•    Penalty: 1 – 15 years’ incarceration

•    Fines: $5,000

•    Classification: Class E Felony

7.    Amount: 16 ounces to 10 pounds (first felony)

•    Penalty: 1 – 15 years’ incarceration

•    Fines: $5,000

•    Classification: Class D Felony

8.    Amount: More than 10 pounds (first felony)

•    Penalty: 1 – 15 years’ incarceration 

•    Fines: $5,000

•    Classification: Class C Felony

Cultivation and/or Intent to Distribute Marijuana

Supplementary Charges include Possession, Sale, and Sale to a minor with regard to Drug Paraphernalia; Marijuana charges may be subject to increase to the proximity to a school zone – sale to a minor may also incur additional fines and incarceration

9.    Amount: 2 ounces or less (gift)

•    Penalty: 3 months’

•    Fines: $500

•    Classification: class B misdemeanor

10.    Amount: 24 grams

•    Penalty: 1 years’

•    Fines: $1,000

•    Classification: class A misdemeanor

11.    Amount: 25 grams to 4 ounces (first felony)

•    Penalty: 1 – 4 years’

•    Fines: $5,000

•    Classification: class E felony

12.    Amount: 4 to 16 ounces (first felony)

•    Penalty: 1-7 years’

•    Fines: $5,000

•    Classification: class D felony

13.    Amount: 16 ounces to 10 pounds (first felony)

•    Penalty: 1-7 years’

•    Fines: $5,000

•    Classification: class C felony

14.    Amount: 10 pounds or more (first felony)

•    Penalty: 1-15 years’

•    Fines: varies

•    Classification: class C felony

Medical Marijuana

Within the state of New York, Medical Marijuana is considered to be illegal both for patient use and cultivation

New York DWI and DUI Laws

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving while under the influence (DUI) charges exist in the event that an individual ingests illegal drugs, alcohol, or controlled-substances, which may impair their respective ability to safely operate a motor vehicle; the following DUI and DWI laws exist within the state of New York:

•    Zero tolerance laws exist in the event that an individual below the legal age permissible to consume alcohol is suspected to be unlawfully operating a motor vehicle; within the state of New York, the Zero Tolerance Blood Alcohol Content Level (BAC) cannot exceed .02%

•    The BAC limit for individuals operating motor vehicles may not reach .08%; this can constitute a DUI or DWI offense

•    In New York, supplementary penalties may be incurred due to BAC levels exceeding .18%

•    Implied consent is a legal instrument that is employed within the realm of a DUI Arrest that entails a verbal or written contract resulting from the willing participation in a regulated activity, such as the operation of a motor vehicle; within New York, law enforcement agents are permitted to act in accordance with implied consent laws

•    Upon a DUI or DWI conviction, and individuals is subject to undergo the loss of driving privileges for a period of no less than 90 days’ time;  penalties can range upwards of 6 months in addition to the installation of an ignition interlock device

•    Upon a second DUI or DWI conviction, an individual is subject to undergo the confiscation of their vehicle 

New York Gun Laws

A handgun is a firearm whose smaller size is fashioned to be used upon operation by one hand, which typically fire single round ammunition; within the state of New York, gun laws are as follows:

•    The sale, ownership, or possession of firearms with regard to convicted felons, minors under 16 years of age, or resident aliens;  individuals carrying illegal weapons on their person during the time of a crime, aggravated assault can be attributed to any coinciding criminal convictions imposed

•    A waiting period for the purchase of a firearm does not currently exist in the state of New York

•    Current listing or report of forearms considered to be illegal in the state of New York: Pistols, revolvers, and shotguns with barrel(s) less than eighteen inches in length; rifles with barrel length(s) less than sixteen inches, disguised firearms, machine guns, silenced firearms, stun guns, electronic dart guns, explosive ammunition, armor piercing ammunition, and a collection exceeding 20 firearms

New York Adoption Laws

In the state of New York, an individual who has been deemed as a law-abiding citizen 18 years or older who is of sound mind and moral character is permitted to adopt a child; individuals whom are wed must agree to an adoption in a joint fashion – individuals undergoing a dissolution of marriage must have been separated for a duration no less than 3 years:

•    Any individual may be adopted; children above the age(s) of 14 must express consent with regard to a potential adoption

•    Within the state of New York, and individual must maintain residence for a period of no less than 3 months

•    Within the state of New York, the Department of Social Services mandates all adoptions

New York Employment and Labor Laws

•    Within the state of New York, the minimum wage is $7.15 – $7.25awarded per hour of labor

•    Within the state of New York, an individual’s employ cannot be terminated in the event that they report a violation or hazard taking place with regard to their respective employment – or place of employment

New York Divorce Laws

Within the state of New York, a divorce is defined as the termination of a marriage, which can occur upon a decision set forth by one or both partners involved in the marriage:

•    A divorce must be filed by an individual resident of New York

•    ‘No Fault’ divorce does exist on the grounds of a separation taking place for 1 years’ time

•    Additional grounds for divorce can include cruelty, adultery, criminal conviction, and abandonment

New York Death Penalty Laws

Within the state of New York, Capital Punishment – or the Death Penalty – is legal; however, additional stipulations exist with regard to this procedure:

•    In the event of mental incapacity or pregnancy, capital punishment is disallowed

•    19 years of age is the expressed minimum age permissible for a capital punishment sentence

•    Within the state of New York, 1st Degree Murder is considered to be the only crime punishable by death

•    The accepted means of capital punishment is the administration of lethal injection

New York Gambling Laws

Within the state of New York, Gambling is defined as the purposeful risking of any or all assets, property or monies with the intention of gain; a primary stipulation exists that expressed that the individual retains no control of peripheral outcome(s) with regard to any wagers set forth:

•    Licensed Horse racing wagering is legal

•    Any and all unsanctioned structures and facilities intended to house gambling activity are deemed as illegal in the state of New York

New York Child Laws

Within the state of New York, the following stipulations with regard to child laws and child custody are recognized:

•    Joint custody is permitted

•    The rights implied within grandparental visitation are recognized

•    The wishes of any or all children involves are taken into consideration with regard to a custody decision