Muldoon, Getz & Reston

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Length of probation sentence may vary
by Gary Muldoon
Muldoon, Getz & Reston
Rochester, New York

One common sentencing alternative is to impose a term of probation.

In the past, where probation sentence was imposed, the length was set: 1 year for a class B misdemeanor, 3 years for a class A misdemeanor, and for a felony (if probation was available), 5 years.


The Legislature amended this, offering judges greater flexibility. The length for a B misdemeanor remains the same, 1 year. But for A misdemeanors, the judge may choose either 2 or 3 years. Penal Law § 65.00. With one B misdemeanor, Public Lewdness, the probation period may be between 1 and 3 years. Penal Law § 65.00(3)(c).


DWI probation


For an unclassified misdemeanor, such as DWI, probation may be 2 or 3 years. Penal Law § 65.00(3)(d).


Felony probation


With a felony probation sentence, the judge may set the length at 3, 4, or 5 years.



Youthful Offender


The same variation applies to Youthful Offender probation sentences: on an A misdemeanor, 2 or 3 years; felonies, 3, 4 or 5 years. See Penal Law § 60.02


Sex offender probation


Where a defendant is convicted of certain sex offenses, the probation length is longer: for misdemeanors, 6 years; for felonies, 10 years. Penal Law §§ 65.00(3)(a)(ii), (3)(b)(ii), (d) (definition of term “sexual assault”).


The same applies to Youthful Offender adjudications for these crimes.


© 2015 by Gary Muldoon