The crime of coercion might not be as well-known as some other laws on the books of the state of New York, but it is still a serious charge. Coercion charges can be brought as both a misdemeanor and a felony depending on the circumstances. If you are presently being charged with coercion, be sure to obtain qualified representation right away. David Galison is an experienced New York defense attorney and can get to work for your best interest right away.

Coercion can be charged in either the first or second degree depending on a variety of factors.

Coercion in the Second Degree

The crime of coercion has to do with the convincing of someone to either engage or not engage in an act that they have the legal right to choose to either engage or not engage in. In order to justify the coercion charge, it must be determined that the accused has instilled fear in the victim that, if the demand is not met, the accused will -

  • Cause physical harm to a person; or
  • Cause damage to property; or
  • Engage in other conduct constituting a crime; or
  • Accuse some other person of a crime; or
  • Expose a secret, whether true or false; or
  • Cause a strike, boycott, or other labor group action; or
  • Testify or provide information or withhold hold testimony with respect to another’s legal claim; or
  • Use or abuse a position of public authority; or
  • Perform any other act that is calculated to harm another person materially

This charge is a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison, depending the circumstances and history of the offender.

Coercion in the First Degree

The first degree charge for coercion contains all of the requirements of second degree charges, with the addition of one of the two following factors -

  • The crime is committed by instilling fear in the victim that they will suffer physical injury
  • Attempting to compel or induce the victim to commit a felony, cause harm to a person, or violate their duty as a public servant.

If first degree charges are brought against you, it will be a class D felony and the possibility of up to seven years in prison. Call our office today at 516-242-4477 for a free consultation and to discuss the specifics of your coercion case. We look forward to working with you in this matter.