handcuffs lying on a wooden table

New York Persistent
Felony Offenders

Melanson Law Office P.C. June 2, 2021

According to statistics from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there were 23,393 total felony convictions in New York in 2019. In New York, prison sentences and other penalties depend on a number of factors, such as the defendant's criminal history, the nature of the crime, and other surrounding circumstances. Felonies in the state of New York carry multiple years of incarceration in state prison. In the event that the person has two or more previous felony convictions, they may be considered a “persistent felony offender,” and this may result in longer prison sentences.

At Melanson Law Office P.C., I'm dedicated to providing comprehensive legal guidance and reliable representation to individuals facing felony charges. As a skilled New York criminal defense attorney, I can review and investigate every last detail of your case, explore your possible legal defenses, and determine the best course of action. I will fight to protect your rights, refute the allegations against you with substantial evidence, or help you negotiate the most favorable plea deal available. I will guide and represent you in every stage of the legal process and ensure that you receive fair treatment. My firm proudly serves clients in Kingston, New York, and the surrounding areas of Highland, Poughkeepsie, Hudson, Catskill, and New Paltz.

What is a Persistent Felony Offender?

According to New York Consolidated Laws, Penal Law Section 70.10, a persistent felony offender is a person who stands convicted of a felony after having previously been convicted of two or more felonies. When the court finds that a person is a persistent felony offender, additional or harsher punishment may be imposed upon them.

How Does This Differ From a “Three Strikes Law?”

In New York State, the three strikes law imposes severe punishment on individuals who have been convicted of certain felony offenses three times. The three strikes law in New York usually deals with serious and violent crimes, such as murder, rape, and arson.

Conversely, persistent felony offender sentencing is not exactly like a three strikes law. Only certain crimes invoke its provisions, and it is still at the court’s discretion. Even if the convictions are of eligible offenses, there are still other provisions that must be met for them to apply.

Sentencing Guidelines for Persistent Felony Offenders

Under New York Consolidated Laws, Penal Law Section 70.10 (2),

"When the court has found that a person is a persistent felony offender and when it is of the opinion that the history and character of the defendant and the nature and circumstances of his criminal conduct indicate that extended incarceration and life-time supervision will best serve the public interest, the court may impose the sentence of imprisonment authorized by that section for a class A-I felony."

Class A-I felony is punishable by a minimum of 15-40 years or life in prison without parole.

How an Experienced Attorney Can Help

A felony conviction in New York State can have devastating, life-long consequences on your liberty, quality of life, or personal and professional opportunities. Likewise, such a criminal conviction can subject you to persistent felony offender sentencing years later. If you're facing a felony charge or possible implementation of the persistent felony offender sentencing guidelines, it is imperative that you retain an aggressive criminal defense attorney immediately to build your defense.

At Melanson Law Office, I handle a wide range of criminal cases, including defending clients facing felony charges. As your attorney, I can investigate all the facts of your case and help you understand your best defenses to maximize your chances of obtaining the best available outcome for your case. Using my extensive experience and understanding of the law, I will help you navigate the New York criminal justice system and put you in the best position to limit your exposure to the most severe penalties.

Contact me at Melanson Law Office P.C. today to schedule a one-on-one case evaluation with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney. I can offer you the comprehensive legal counsel, strong advocacy, and reliable representation you need in your case. My firm is proud to represent clients in Kingston, Highland, Poughkeepsie, Hudson, Catskill, and New Paltz, New York.