The governor recently signed a law this January that allows a defendant to be sentenced to different lengths of probation. The law changes Penal Law § 65. It gives many more Probation Sentencing Options in Cattaraugus and Wyoming Counties.

Class A Misdemeanors and Unclassified Misdemeanors with a possible jail sentence over 3 months, a defendant can now be sentenced to two or three years of probation (except sex offenses). Class B Misdemeanors remain a sentence of 1 year unless for public lewdness which is 1-3 years.

This is a huge benefit for defendant’s across Wyoming County, Cattaraugus County, and the rest of New York State. Instead of the previous options of 3 years of probation, up to 1 year of jail or a conditional discharge, a judge now has another option that might be more appropriate than a full 3 years of jail.

In considering whether to impose 2 or 3 years, the legislature specifically mentioned that the purpose of the law is to promote a sentence that is tailored to the defendant’s character and history.