Possessing public benefit cards registered in another person’s name or multiple individuals’ names may constitute the offense of criminal possession of public benefit cards under New York law. New York’s criminal code includes three distinct statutes that pertain to this crime. The specific charge you face hinges on the quantity of cards in your possession.
Among these charges, the most severe is criminal possession of public benefit cards in the first degree, which carries the harshest penalties. As per New York Penal Law section 158.50, you can be charged with this offense if you knowingly possess 25 or more public benefit cards in someone else’s name, with the intent to defraud, deceive, or harm another.
Under New York Penal Law section 158.00(1)(a), a “public benefit card” encompasses medical assistance cards, food stamp assistance cards, public assistance cards, or any other state-issued identification permitting access to public assistance benefits.
As a class C felony, if you are convicted of criminal possession of public benefit cards in the second degree your sentence may include a prison term of up to 15 years, a probation term of 5 years, and a substantial fine.
To be charged with criminal possession of public benefit cards in the first degree, you must demonstrate both the intent to defraud and possession of a minimum of 25 public benefit cards. If you can establish that your intent was not fraudulent or that you had fewer than 25 cards in your possession, you might have a credible defense against the accusation.
New York Penal Law § 158.50: Criminal possession of public benefit cards in first degree
Criminal possession of public benefit cards in the first degree is committed when an individual, with the intent to defraud, deceive, or harm another, knowingly holds twenty-five or more public benefit cards under a name or names other than their own.
- Criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 158.30
- Criminal use of a public benefit card in the first degree: New York Penal Law section 158.35
- Criminal possession of a public benefit cards in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 158.45
Hiring a New York Lawyer
When confronting a Criminal Possession of Public Benefit Cards in the First Degree case in New York, it’s imperative to secure the services of an experienced lawyer. New York’s stringent laws require expert legal representation to navigate the intricacies of the case. A qualified attorney will assess the evidence, strategize a robust defense, and work to minimize potential charges or secure a favorable outcome. In this most serious category of public benefit card possession cases, under New York Penal Law section 158.50, a lawyer can be your best ally in proving intent, challenging evidence, and ultimately safeguarding your future from the significant legal repercussions.