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Riot

Arrests for the crime of riot can result in felony charges carrying with them a lifetime of consequences. The maximum penalty for the crime of riot in the first degree is a class E felony with a maximum penalty of up to 4 years in prison and a $5000.00 fine. The less severe riot in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of up to 1 year in jail and a $1000.00 fine.

If you or someone you know has been accused of riot, call our experienced and tough New York criminal lawyers today. Our New York criminal attorney’s experience and aggressive trial strategies attack any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case. Call us today for a free consultation.

The distinguishing features that separate riot in the first and second degrees are that riot in the first degree requires that at least 10 or more rioters be present and requires that harm be done to others physical health or their real estate or personal property. Riot in the second degree merely requires 5 rioters and does not require that the rioters conduct actually hurt anyone or destroy any property.

The elements of riot in the first degree are as follows:

1) When, with 10 or greater than 10 people, a person

a) engages in bellicose and destructive conduct,

b) purposefully or with intentional disregard for substantial risk they bring about or are almost certain to bring about a public panic

c) and during the bellicose and destructive conduct one of the rioters destroys personal property or harms a person’s physical health unless they are one of the rioters.

OR

2) A person who is in a jail or prison, with 10 persons or greater than 10 persons:

a) engages in bellicose and destructive conduct,

b) purposefully or with intentional disregard for substantial risk they bring about or are almost certain to bring about panic within the jail or prison

c) and during the bellicose and destructive conduct one of the rioters destroys personal property or harms a person’s physical health unless they are one of the rioters.

The meaning of bellicose and destructive conduct is something more than an ordinary loud party or some yelling. Bellicose and destructive conduct is essentially group behavior that inspires terror and fear. An example of bellicose and destructive behavior could be a group of masked protestors throwing stones and flaming objects while destroying cars and businesses.

Participating in a prison riot may be punished by riot in the first degree. Despite the dangerous circumstances of a prison riot, if a person engages in conduct prohibited by the statute, they may still be re-arrested and punished. Particularly, if one has already been arrested for a felony, an added charge of riot in the first degree may serve to extend a prison sentence as the sentence may be imposed to run consecutively rather than concurrently. This means that, if one is convicted of riot in the first degree for being a part of a prison riot, the prison time may be added to the end of the sentence, thereby extending the term of incarceration.

If you or someone you love has been accused of the crime of riot or related charges such as harassment, disorderly conduct, unlawful assembly or criminal anarchy, it is important that representation be secured right away. Our experienced criminal defense lawyers will present the most aggressive defense possible to your charges. Call our office today for a free consultation.

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