Creating A Hazard: NY Penal Law § 270.10

by ECL Writer
Unlawfully Possessing Or Selling Noxious Material

Many tragic stories about kids getting trapped in refrigerators or cabinets that were no longer in use have been told over the years. New York has made it illegal to trash several types of containers without first making them safe because such abandoned property poses risks to public safety. Having an uncovered abandoned well or cesspool on your property is also prohibited. If you commit either of the following, you may be charged with creating a hazard under New York Penal Code 270.10:

  • If you fail to remove the door, lid, locking mechanism, or fastening device from a container with a compartment with a capacity of more than 1.5 cubic feet and an automatic door or lid that locks or fastens when closed and cannot be easily opened from the inside, throw it away anywhere it might attract children; or
  • You fail to cover the well or cesspool with an appropriate protective structure despite owning or otherwise possessing the property where it is located.

Creating A Hazard Sentence

If found guilty of noxious material possession or sale, which is a class B misdemeanor, you might spend up to three months in jail and face a fine of up to $500. Additionally, the court can decide to sentence you to a year of probation rather than jail time.


If you disposed of the container in a location that is inaccessible to children, you would not be in violation of New York Penal Code 270.10(1) for creating a danger. You would not have committed the crime of creating a hazard, for instance, if you had placed the refrigerator in a remote, dark area of your basement and kept the basement door locked.

New York Penal Code § 270.10: Creating a hazard

A person is guilty of creating a hazard when:

  • Having discarded in any place where it might attract children, a container which has a compartment of more than one and one-half cubic feet capacity and a door or lid which locks or fastens automatically when closed and which cannot easily be opened from the inside, he fails to remove the door, lid, locking or fastening device; or
  • Being the owner or otherwise having possession of property upon which an abandoned well or cesspool is located, he fails to cover the same with suitable protective construction.

Hiring A New York Lawyer For Creating A Hazard Case

Hiring a New York lawyer to pursue a hazard case is a prudent decision. New York’s complex legal landscape demands experienced professionals who understand the nuances of personal injury and liability laws. A skilled attorney can assess the circumstances, gather evidence, and navigate the intricacies of litigation. They’ll leverage their expertise to build a strong case, ensuring you receive proper compensation for injuries or damages resulting from hazardous conditions. With a New York lawyer by your side, you gain a strategic advantage, increasing the likelihood of a favorable outcome in your hazard case, safeguarding your rights, and achieving justice.

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