Like no other place on Earth

The Law in NYC

Posted here with underlined sections relevant to the cause, are the Laws of the City and State of New York regarding Graffiti.

The intent is to educate as to the specifics, to dissuade the public from the practice and to ultimately one day provide enough of an influence through an endeavor such as Graffitti Park to make changes to the law itself.

City and State Anti-Graffiti Legislation

New York City Graffiti Laws

§ 10-117. Defacement of property, possession, sale and display of aerosol spray paint cans, [and] broad tipped markers and etching acid prohibited in certain instances.

a. No person shall write, paint or draw any inscription, figure or mark of any type on any public or private building or other structure or any other real or personal property owned, operated or maintained by a public benefit corporation, the city of New York or any agency or instrumentality thereof or by any person, firm, or corporation, or any personal property maintained on a city street or other city-owned property pursuant to a franchise, concession or revocable consent granted by the city, unless the express permission of the owner or operator of the property has been obtained.

b. No person shall carry an aerosol spray paint can, [or] broad tipped indelible marker or etching acid into any public building or other public facility with the intent to violate the provisions of subdivision a of this section.

c. No person shall sell or offer to sell an aerosol spray paint can, [or] broad tipped indelible marker or etching acid to any person under eighteen years of age.

d. All persons who sell or offer for sale aerosol spray paint cans, [or] broad tipped indelible markers or etching acid shall not place such cans, [or] markers or etching acid on display and may display only facsimiles of such cans, [or] markers or etching acid containing no paint, [or] ink or etching acid.

e. For the purpose of this section, the term “broad tipped indelible marker” shall mean any felt tip marker or similar implement containing a fluid that is not water soluble and which has a flat or angled writing surface one-half inch or greater. For the purpose of this section, the term “etching acid” shall mean any liquid, cream, paste or similar chemical substance that can be used to etch, draw, carve, sketch, engrave, or otherwise alter, change or impair the physical integrity of glass or metal.

§2. This local law shall take effect 120 days after enactment.

Title 10 § 117.1 establishes an Anti-Graffiti Task Force that assesses the scope and nature of the City’s graffiti problem, examines the effectiveness of existing provisions of law aimed at curbing graffiti vandalism and proposes amendments to strengthen such legislation.   Furthermore, the Task Force reviews current law enforcement activity and suggests ways to augment enforcement capability, identifies existing anti-graffiti programs in the City, surveys the efforts of other jurisdictions to combat graffiti and considers the replication of such programs in New York City, and proposes a comprehensive anti-graffiti program.

Title 10 § 117.2 of the New York City Administrative Law Code allows the Mayor to offer and pay a reward, not exceeding $500, to any person who provides information leading to the apprehension, persecution or conviction of any person who vandalizes property.

New York State Graffiti Laws

§145.00 of the State Penal Law states that a person is guilty of criminal mischief in the fourth degree when he or she, having no right to do so, intentionally damages property of another person, intentionally participates in the destruction of an abandoned building or recklessly damages property of another person in an amount exceeding $250.

§145.05 of the State Penal Law states that a person is guilty of criminal mischief in the third degree when with the intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so, he or she damages property of another person in an amount exceeding $250.  §145.10 states that a person is guilty of criminal mischief in the second degree when, with intent to damage property of another person, and having no right to do so, he or she damages property of another person in an amount exceeding $1,500.

Furthermore

MISDEMEANOR PRACTICE IS AS FOLLOWS

In New York State a misdemeanor is defined as a crime punishable by less than one year in jail.  There are three categories of misdemeanors in New York: (1) Class A misdemeanors, such as Petit Larceny (Penal Law § 155.25) and Assault in the 3rdDegree (Penal Law § 120.00), which are punishable by up to one year in jail, three years probation, or a combination of jail time (up to 60 days) and three years probation; (2) Class B misdemeanors, such as Criminal Possession of Marijuana in the 5th Degree (Penal Law § 221.10)  and Criminal Trespass in the 3rd Degree (Penal Law § 140.10), which are punishable by up to 90 days jail, one year probation; and (3) Unclassified misdemeanors, which often fall under the Vehicle and Traffic Law, such as Driving While Intoxicated (VTL § 1192(2), et seq.) and Driving with a Suspended License (VTL § 511(1), et. seq.).  These offenses can be punishable by up to one year in jail as well.

New York also has numerous violation-level offenses, such as Disorderly Conduct (Penal Law § 240.20, et. seq.) and Harassment in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 240.26), which are not considered “crimes” per se but can be punishable by up to 15 days in jail.

Like a felony, a misdemeanor conviction becomes part of a person’s permanent criminal record, which can be accessed by law enforcement, government agencies and civilian employers.  If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor offense, you have been convicted of a crime.

Often those charged with a misdemeanor offense are arrested and brought to a police precinct or station where they are “processed.”  A person must be fingerprinted for all felony and most misdemeanor cases and this is typically done as part of the arrest processing.  In addition, pedigree information will be taken by the police officer processing the arrest, and the defendant may be questioned about the incident unless the defendant has invoked his right to counsel or an attorney has appeared on his behalf.

The arrest process itself can take several hours.  Depending on the time of arrest a defendant may have to spend a night in police custody before being brought before the court to be arraigned (OR DAYS IF COURT IS NOT IN SESSION, AS ON WEEKENDS).

The arraignment is the initial step in the prosecution of a misdemeanor case.  At the arraignment the defendant is brought before a judge where he is advised of the charges he is facing and asked to enter a plea, which should almost always be “not guilty”.  The prosecutor may also ask the court to require the defendant to post bail to ensure his return to court.  Additionally, in certain cases, such as driving while intoxicated, the court may suspend a defendant’s driving privileges at the arraignment.  Having a criminal defense attorney present at the arraignment to deal with issues such as the sufficiency of the charges, entry of plea, and bail applications is always advisable.

This (second section) information was obtained from website http://www.raiserkenniff.com/Criminal-Defense/Misdemeanors.aspx?gclid=CPTl-enQsKYCFQl_5QodhFPHoA


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