Criminal Use Of A Public Benefit Card In The Second Degree: NY Penal Law § 158.30

by ECL Writer
Conspiracy in the first degree

Using someone else’s identification card to access public assistance benefits, such as medical assistance, food stamps, or other forms of public aid, is illegal. If, for instance, you accept another person’s public assistance card as collateral for a loan or in exchange for money, drugs, or any other property or service, you would be committing a crime.

According to New York Penal Law section 158.30, you may be charged with a second-degree criminal use of a public benefit card if you:

  • Willingly lend money, property, or provide a service and accept a public benefit card as collateral for the repayment of the loan or as payment for the property or service.
  • Willingly acquire a public benefit card in exchange for a benefit.
  • Willingly transfer a public benefit card to another individual in exchange for money, controlled substances, or to facilitate an unlawful act.

In the context of New York Penal Law section 158.00(1)(a), a “public benefit card” refers to a card issued by the state or a social services district that grants an individual access to public assistance benefits. This includes medical assistance cards, food stamp assistance cards, public assistance cards, and other such forms of identification.

Sentence

If found guilty of second-degree criminal use of a public benefit card, which is classified as a class A misdemeanor, your punishment may involve a maximum jail sentence of one year, a probation period of three years, and a monetary fine.

Defenses

To establish your guilt in a second-degree criminal use of a public benefit card case, the prosecution must demonstrate that you received the card in exchange for a benefit. If the card was presented to you as a “gift,” then you have not committed the offense of second-degree criminal use of a public benefit card.

New York Penal Law § 158.30: Criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree

A person commits the offense of second-degree criminal use of a public benefit card when, with knowledge:

  • They lend money or extend credit for property or services and accept a public benefit card as collateral or security for the repayment of the loan or the provision of property or services.
  • They acquire a public benefit card in return for a benefit.
  • They transfer or hand over a public benefit card to another person either (a) in exchange for money or a controlled substance as defined in subdivision five of section 220.00, or (b) with the intention of facilitating an unlawful act.

Related Offenses

Hiring a New York Lawyer for Criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree case

Hiring a New York lawyer for a second-degree criminal use of a public benefit card case is essential. This offense involves serious allegations of fraud and misuse of government assistance, potentially leading to severe penalties. An experienced attorney familiar with New York’s legal system can provide invaluable guidance, build a strong defense, and negotiate with prosecutors. They can explore evidence, assess the validity of charges, and work to mitigate consequences, which may include fines, probation, or incarceration. Choosing the right lawyer ensures the best chance of a favorable outcome, protecting your rights and reputation while navigating the complexities of the legal process.

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