FOLLOW US :
212-300-5196

White Glove Service. Excellent Results. Strong Reputation.

Read Our Reviews

NY Penal Law § 158.35: Criminal Use of a Public Benefit Card in the First Degree

July 4, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

New York law prohibits people from using another person’s public benefit identification documents to receive public assistance benefits such as health coverage, SNAP food benefits, or other public assistance benefits. If you were to accept another person’s electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card as collateral for a loan, or in exchange for money, drugs or some other property or service, then you would have committed a crime. Pursuant to New York Penal Law section 158.35, you could be prosecuted on a charge of criminal use of a public benefit card in the first degree if you:

  1. Procure three or more public benefit cards from another person or persons in exchange for a perk or asset, or
  2. Transport or deliver three or more public benefit cards to another individual in exchange for money or a controlled substance as delineated in subdivision five of section 220.00 of this chapter.

Pursuant to New York Penal Law section 158.00(1)(a), a “public benefit card” is a medical assistance card, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or EBT card, public assistance card, or other identification document issued by the state or a social services district which entitles a person to receive public assistance benefits.

For Example

Gregory is a local drug dealer. Multiple customers of his are recipients of public assistance benefits. In the neighborhood, Gregory is commonly known to accept public assistance benefit cards for payment for drugs that his customers purchase when they don’t have cash. In this scenario, Gregory could be looking at a charge of criminal use of a public benefit card in the first degree, because he customarily accepts public assistance benefit cards in exchange for the illegal drugs he sells. It is obvious, in this case, that he has obtained more than 3 such cards from his customers.

Offenses that are Related

Criminal use of a public benefit card in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 158.30

Criminal possession of a public benefit cards in the third degree: New York Penal Law section 158.40

Criminal possession of a public benefit cards in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 158.45

Criminal possession of a public benefit cards in the first degree: New York Penal Law section 158.50

Possible Defenses

The prosecutor has to prove that a minimum of 3 public benefit cards were involved. If the prosecutor can only prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that you exchanged 2 public benefit cards for a perk or profit, or that you obtained 2 public assistance benefit cards in exchange for drugs, then criminal use of a public card in the first degree would not be the correct charge.

The Sentence

Since it is a class E felony offense, if you are convicted of criminal use of a public benefit card in the first degree, the judge may sentence you to a jail term of up to 4 years, a probation term of 5 years, and order you to pay a substantial fine.

FREE CONSULTATION

Testimonials

Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.

~ David Bruce

Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.

~ Rowlin Garcia

Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.

~ Francis Anim

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We provide superior service, excellent results, at a level superior to other criminal defense law firms. Regardless of where your case is, nationwide, we can help you.

Get In Touch

Schedule Your Consultation

Los Angeles

555 W 5th St 35th floor, Los Angeles, CA 90013

212-300-5196



get directions

Queens

35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106

212-300-5196



get directions

NYC

85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004

212-300-5196



get directions

Brooklyn

195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201

212-300-5196



get directions

Call Us