Aaron Spolin

Aaron Spolin is an award-winning felony lawyer with proven strategies that win cases. For help with your case, call his firm, Spolin Law P.C. at (310) 424-5816.

To learn more about felony sentencing in New York, you can read below or call the felony lawyers at Spolin Law P.C. at (310) 424-5816. We will answer all of your questions.

How Are Felonies Categorized in New York?

In New York, felony levels are lettered AⅠ-E, with A-level offenses being the most serious. The sentencing guidelines for felonies at each level depend on a number of factors that determine the range of sentences the defendant will face.

The factors at play include the following:

  • Whether or not the felony is drug related
  • If the defendant has a prior felony record
  • If that prior felony and/or current felony is violent

A defendant with a violent or non-violent prior felony within the past ten years (not including years incarcerated) are referred to as a Non-Violent Predicate Felon or a Violent Predicate Felon.


Class AⅠ Felony Sentencing

Class AⅠ felonies are the most serious felonies with the harshest punishments. This class includes felonies such as aggravated murder, terrorism, arson, and criminal sale/possession of a controlled substance. For these felonies, each count has to be in the first degree, except for murder where both first and second degree are class A.

Narcotic and Drug Felony

First Offense

For a class AⅠ drug-related felony, the prison sentence ranges from 8 to 20 years, with 5 years supervision after release. Probation is typically not permitted. Also not permitted with an offense of this class is alternative definite sentencing, youthful offender adjudication, and judicial diversion. The Comprehensive Alcohol and Substance Abuse Treatment (CASAT) Program sentencing is permitted.

Non-Violent Predicate

For a defendant with a non-violent prior, the range for an AⅠ offense is 12 to 24 years, along with 5 years of supervised post-release. Other penalties are the same as for first-time offenders.

Violent Predicate

A violent predicate would have 15 to 30 years in prison, followed by 5 years of supervision following release. All other penalties are the same as first and non-violent predicate offenders.

Non-Drug Related Felony

Non-drug related AⅠ felonies warrant a minimum sentence of 15 to 40 years in prison, and ranges to the possibility of life in prison without parole.

Class AⅡ Felony Sentencing

Class AⅡ offenses also result in lengthy sentences and similar punishments to those of AⅠ. These offenses include predatory sexual assault, second-degree criminal use of a chemical or biological weapon, and criminal sale or possession of a controlled substance in the second degree.

Narcotic and Drug Felony

First Offense

A first-time offender charged with a drug-related class AⅡ felony will receive 3 to 10 years in prison, along with 5 years of supervision after release. For class AⅡ felonies, the rights of the offender differ from AⅠ felonies in that lifetime probation is permitted, as well as “shock” incarceration. Shock incarceration is also known as “boot camp prison” and involves strict discipline, military drills, and physical exercise.

Non-Violent Predicate

A non-violent predicate will face between 6 and 14 years with 5 years’ supervised post-release. The offender will have the same penalties listed as for first offenders.

Violent Predicate

The sentence a violent predicate would serve can range from 8 to 17 years with 5 years’ supervision after, with the same penalties as first offenders.

Non-Drug Related Felony

Non-drug AⅡ felonies have long sentences like AⅠ felonies, but the minimum sentence starts between 3 and 8 years, and can go all the way to life without parole.

Class B Violent Felony Sentencing

Class B violent felonies are offenses such as assault in the first degree, rape in the first degree, and manslaughter in the first degree.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

A first-time offender may face a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 25 years state prison. All class B violent offenders are given the same permissions as class AⅡ felonies, with probation permitted.

Non-Violent Predicate

A non-violent predicate offender may face a minimum of 8 years and a maximum of 25 years in state prison. Other penalties are similar to first-time offenders, or class AII felonies.

Violent Predicate

Violent offenders may face a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years in state prison. Other penalties are similar to first-time and non-violent offenders.

  1. Class AⅠ and AⅡ Felony Sentencing
  2. Class B Felony Sentencing
  3. Class C Felony Sentencing
  4. Class D Felony Sentencing
  5. Class E Felony Sentencing

Class B Violent Felony Sentencing

Class B violent felonies are offenses such as assault in the first degree, rape in the first degree, and manslaughter in the first degree.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

A first-time offender may face a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 25 years state prison. All class B violent offenders are given the same permissions as class AⅡ felonies, with probation permitted.

Non-Violent Predicate

A non-violent predicate offender may face a minimum of 8 years and a maximum of 25 years in state prison. Other penalties are similar to first-time offenders, or class AII felonies.

Violent Predicate

Violent offenders may face a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of 25 years in state prison. Other penalties are similar to first-time and non-violent offenders.

Class B Non-Violent Felony Sentencing

Non-violent class B felonies consist of offenses like conspiracy in the second degree, insurance fraud in the first degree, criminal possession/sale of a controlled substance in the third degree, and sex trafficking.

Narcotic and Drug Felony

First Offense

Non-violent class B felonies involving narcotics have sentencing ranging 1 to 9 years in prison, and post-release supervision for one to 2 years. For offenders of class B non-violent felony charges, probation is permitted, as is alternative definite sentence of less than one year, shock incarceration, youthful offender adjudication, parole supervision sentence, and judicial diversion. CASAT sentencing is permitted as well.

Non-Violent Predicate

A non-violent predicate faces a sentence ranging from 2 to 12 years in prison, with 1½ to 3 years of supervision after incarceration. Alternative definite sentence is not permitted.

Violent Predicate

For violent predicates, the range is 6 to 15 years in prison followed by 1½ to 3 years of supervision after. For these offenders, probation is not permitted, and neither are alternative definite sentencing, shock incarceration nor judicial diversion.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

Sentences for first-time offenders start at 1 to 3 years and at a maximum range from 8 to 25 years in prison.

Non-Violent Predicate

For a repeat offender, sentences range from around 4½ to 9 years at minimum, to 12½ to 25 years maximum.

  1. Class AⅠ and AⅡ Felony Sentencing
  2. Class B Felony Sentencing
  3. Class C Felony Sentencing
  4. Class D Felony Sentencing
  5. Class E Felony Sentencing

Class C Violent Felony Sentencing

Examples of violent class C felonies include attempting to commit any class B violent felony, aggravated criminally negligent homicide, gang assault in the second degree, and robbery and burglary in the second degree.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

For class C violent offenders with no priors, the sentence has a minimum of 3½ years, and a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Non-Violent Predicate

Non-violent predicates face 5 to 15 years of incarceration.

Violent Predicate

Violent predicates may serve between 7 and 15 years in prison.

Class C Non-Violent Felony Sentencing

Non-violent class C felonies are offenses such as criminal facilitation in the second degree, manslaughter in the second degree, forgery in the first degree, and criminal sale/possession of marijuana in the first degree.

Narcotic and Drug Felony

First Offense

These offenders face 1 to 5½ years in prison, then 1 to 2 years of supervision post-release. Probation, alternative definite sentence of 1 year or less, youthful offender adjudication, shock incarceration, CASAT, and judicial diversion are all permitted. Parole supervision sentence is not permitted.

Non-Violent Predicate

Non-violent predicates face 1½ to 8 years in prison with 1½ to 3 years of supervision afterwards. The same options as first offenders apply, except for youthful offender adjudication, which is not permitted.

Violent Predicate

Violent predicate felons serve between 3½ to 9 years in prison, with supervision for 1½ to 3 years afterwards. Probation is not permitted for these offenders. Other permissions prohibited include alternative definite sentencing, youthful offender adjudication, parole supervision, and judicial diversion allowed.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

For class C non-violent first offenders, the sentence minimum is no incarceration time, or possibly probation, and goes to a maximum of 5 to 15 years.

Non-Violent Predicate

Non-violent predicate offenders can face a minimum of between 3 and 6 years in prison and a maximum of between 7½ and 15 years in prison.

Violent Predicate

Violent predicates can serve 3 to 6 years minimum, up to 7½ to 15 maximum years in prison.

  1. Class AⅠ and AⅡ Felony Sentencing
  2. Class B Felony Sentencing
  3. Class C Felony Sentencing
  4. Class D Felony Sentencing
  5. Class E Felony Sentencing

Class D Violent Felony Sentencing

Offenses that fall under violent class D felonies include stalking in the first degree, rape in the second degree, reckless assault of a child, and criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

A class D violent felony sentence ranges from 2 to 7 years for first-time offenders.

Non-Violent Predicate

Non-violent predicates serve 3 to 7 years in prison.

Violent Predicate

Violent predicate felonies are typically 5 to 7 year sentences.

Class D Non-Violent Felony Sentencing

Class D non-violent felonies include vehicular assault in the first degree, reckless endangerment in the first degree, and criminally using drug paraphernalia in the first degree.

Narcotic and Drug Felony

First Offense

First-time offenders serve between 1 and 2½ years in prison and receive 1 year supervised afterwards. All permissions except for parole supervision sentence allowed.

Non-Violent Predicate

Non-violent predicates have a standard sentence of 1½ to 4 years in prison, then 1 to 2 year supervision post-release. Everything, including parole supervision, is permitted for these offenders, except for youthful offender adjudication.

Violent Predicate

Violent predicates face 2½ to 4½ years in prison and supervision for 1 year afterwards. Only permitted are youthful offender adjudication, shock incarceration, and CASAT sentence.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

The sentence minimum for first-time offenders is no incarceration time, or possibly probation, and the maximum is 2½ to 7 years.

Non-Violent Predicate

Sentences faced by non-violent predicates are 2 to 4 years minimum, with 3½ to 7 years maximum.

Violent Predicate

Violent predicates in this category face the same sentencing guidelines as non-violent predicates.

  1. Class AⅠ and AⅡ Felony Sentencing
  2. Class B Felony Sentencing
  3. Class C Felony Sentencing
  4. Class D Felony Sentencing
  5. Class E Felony Sentencing

Class E Violent Felony Sentencing

Class E violent felonies consist of offenses like persistent sexual abuse, aggravated sexual abuse in the fourth degree, and falsely reporting an incident in the second degree.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

First offenders serve from 1½ to 4 years in prison.

Non-Violent Predicate

For non-violent predicates, the sentence increases to 2 to 4 years in prison.

Violent Predicate

Violent predicates face 3 to 4 years in prison.

Class E Non-Violent Felony Sentencing

Lastly, some E non-violent felonies include criminally negligent homicide, luring a child, riot in the first degree, and promoting a suicide attempt.

Narcotic and Drug Felony

First Offense

First-time offenders face 1 to 1½ years in prison, and 1 year supervision post-release. All other penalties except parole supervision permitted.

Non-Violent Predicate

Non-violent predicates face 1½ to 2 years in prison and 1 to 2 years supervised afterwards. All other penalties except youthful offender adjudication and parole supervision sentence permitted.

Violent Predicate

A violent predicate sentence is 2 to 2½ years in prison, followed by 1 to 2 years supervised afterwards. Only parole supervision, shock incarceration, and CASAT sentence are permitted.

Non-Drug Related Felony

First Offense

The minimum for first offenders can be no jail time, or possible probation, while the maximum goes up to range from 1½ to 4 years.

Non-Violent Predicate

The minimum non-violent predicates face is 1½ to 3 years, with 2 to 4 years maximum in prison.

Violent Predicate

Violent predicate offenders face the same range as non-violent predicates.

Learn About Some of the Top New York Felony Attorneys

Attorneys Don Nguyen, Aaron Spolin, and Jeremy Cutcher | Spolin Law P.C.

Spolin Law attorneys win cases because they work hard for their clients. Contact us at (310) 424-5816.

Felony charges are serious and can lead to penalties that impact every area of your life. They can result in years in prison – or even life.

Spolin Law P.C.’s award-winning felony defense attorneys have a record of successful outcomes. We win cases because:

  • We know how the prosecutor thinks. As a former prosecutor, attorney Aaron Spolin knows how to anticipate the charges and arguments that will be made by the other side. He also knows how to communicate with the prosecutor to get your charges reduced when possible.
  • We know the law. We know New York felony laws inside and out. Spolin Law P.C. has a team of professionals with strong legal backgrounds. We will work hard to use our knowledge to get you the best outcome possible.
  • We know how to win. Spolin Law P.C. has a record of success. We gather all of the facts and determine if they match the charges. We strive to get cases dismissed and charges reduced whenever possible.

If you have questions about your case, contact Mr. Spolin and his team at the law firm of Spolin Law P.C. at (310) 424-5816.