In New York, Making graffiti is a popular form of street art that has become a significant part of the city’s culture. However, graffiti can also be a nuisance, leading to property damage and other criminal activities. As a result, the possession of graffiti instruments has been regulated by law in the city. In this essay, we will explore the laws governing the possession of graffiti instruments in New York, the reasons behind these laws, and the consequences of violating them.
If you are detained in New York City by the NYPD’s Vandal Squad or uniformed cops for possessing any tool, liquid, or material frequently used in the creation of graffiti, even if it isn’t “lions and tigers and bears,” a “Oh my!” may be appropriate. No, having spray paint, a marker, or an etching tool in your possession is not illegal in New York State per se, as a knowledgeable NYC graffiti lawyer will explain. However, if the police suspect that you are in violation of New York Penal Law 145.65, Possession of Graffiti Instruments, do not be shocked if they detain you.
All of these law enforcement agencies, including the Westchester County Police, the City of Poughkeepsie Police, the White Plains Police, and the NYPD, as well as the District Attorney’s Offices in their respective jurisdictions, will take all necessary legal action to stop the spread of crimes involving graffiti, such as Possession of Graffiti Instruments, Making Graffiti, and Criminal Mischief.
Possession of Graffiti Instruments is a class “B” misdemeanor under New York Penal Law 145.65, however, it is less serious than Making Graffiti and any level of Criminal Mischief. Will you be imprisoned after your conviction? Maybe, maybe not, but a conviction for possession of graffiti instruments will unquestionably result in a permanent criminal record that will accompany you throughout the rest of your life rather than an asterisk next to it denoting a lesser infraction.
Possession of Graffiti Instruments is a crime that carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail. This crime is committed when a person has access to any tool, liquid, substance, etc. that is commonly used to cover, etch, paint, or just leave a mark on public or private property. The fact that you did not have permission or authority to make the mark and that you had these instruments in your possession under circumstances indicating a purpose to damage that specific piece of property is a supplementary, but no less significant, factor of possession of graffiti instruments. The facts and evidence in your case will determine how the prosecution intends to prove your intent, including whether you were caught in the act, whether any new paint matches the color of your spray paint, etc.
But regardless of whether there is probable cause to arrest you and send you to Central Booking in New York City or issue you a Desk Appearance Ticket, once you have had time to process your arrest and speak with a criminal lawyer, you will likely look into a number of defenses, including the reasons why and how the police stopped you, searched you and your belongings, and linked you to the tools or substances allegedly in violation of NY PL 145.65.
If you are accused of possessing graffiti instruments, do not take the accusation lightly or act indifferently; otherwise, you risk suffering the repercussions when the criminal case comes crashing down on you. To prevent further crimes and future arrests, be aware of your rights from the moment you are stopped until police attempt to question you. Avoiding a criminal conviction is crucial for your future whether you face probation, jail time, community service, or any other type of punishment.
Exceptions To The Law
There are exceptions to the law that allows for the possession of graffiti instruments for legitimate purposes. For example, artists can possess and use graffiti instruments with the permission of property owners or with the intent to create art on their own property. Similarly, businesses that sell graffiti instruments can possess and sell them to customers for legitimate purposes, such as for use in art projects or for legal graffiti murals.
Hiring A New York Lawyer For Possession of Graffiti Instruments Case
If you’ve been charged with possession of graffiti instruments in New York, it’s important to consider hiring a lawyer to represent you. Graffiti instruments are defined as any tools or materials used for graffiti or defacing property, and possession of such instruments is illegal in New York.
A lawyer can help you understand the charges against you and the potential consequences of a conviction. They can review the evidence and help you develop a strong defense strategy. They can also negotiate with the prosecutor to potentially reduce the charges or seek a plea bargain.
Furthermore, a lawyer can represent you in court and advocate on your behalf. They can work to protect your rights and help you navigate the legal system.
If you’re facing charges for possession of graffiti instruments, it’s important to take the matter seriously and seek legal counsel. A conviction could result in fines, community service, and even jail time, depending on the circumstances. A lawyer can help you understand your options and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.