The New York Penal Law divides offenses into three major categories:
Felonies are the most serious offenses contained in the New York Penal Law. The types of crimes which are considered felonies include: Murder, Narcotics Sales, Gun Sales, Rape, Robbery, Burglary, Assaults with Weapons, Grand Larceny etc... Felonies in New York are assigned a classification from Class A (most serious felony), B, C, D, and E (least serious felony).
Misdemeanors in New York are also divided into classes: A (more serious) and B (less serious). The types of crimes which are considered misdemeanors include: assault resulting in physical injury, possession of small amounts of drugs, petit larceny, criminal mischief, etc...
Violations are non-criminal offenses which are punishable by a maximum of 15 days in jail. Common violations charged in the New York City Criminal Courts are Disorderly Conduct and Harassment. A conviction of a violation does not trigger a criminal record as a violation is not a crime under the New York Penal Law.
In the event you are charged by indictment, felony complaint, misdemeanor complaint, information, desk appearance ticket or summons, you may wish to contact an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney to evaluate your legal options and protect your rights.