New York State Laws
Frequently Asked Questions
Consolidated Laws of New York
Frequently Asked Questions - Search Tips
♦ Can I abbreviate words in my search?
· Yes you can but it is NOT recommended. Your search results will not be complete or may return no records. The criminal code has very few, if any, abbreviations. Try using a wildcard search, for example: misd* for misdemeanor or hara* for harassment. Take a look at some common spelling hints
♦ Is this search engine like 'google'?
· No, not even close. Can you ask questions like, "If I get a ticket for ..." or "What if my friend has weed on him while in my car, can I be arrested?" Questions like that need to be answered by an attorney.
The search engine on this website is only an index of words that are located in the criminal code. When the criminal code is updated we need to re-index the search engine, this is done manually.
♦ Should I include 'attempt' or '110' in my search?
· No, it is not recommended to include anything but the section number you are searching for. Example, if you are searching for ATTEMPTED ASSAULT, in the Penal Law, just enter 'assault
' or the section number '120
' in the search box.
♦ Should I include 'illegal' or 'unlawful' in my search?
· No, it is not recommended to include those phrases in your search. Most things here are 'illegal
' or 'unlawful
♦ Should I include 'article', 'chapter' or 'section' in my search?
· No, it is not recommended to include anything but the section number you are searching for. DO NOT include terms like, 'abc', 'cpl', 'cvr', fca', 'pl', 'penal', 'vtl', 'degree' or include a '-' in your search phrase. Just enter the number. Example, if you are searching for article 120 in the Penal Law, just enter '120
' in the search box.
♦ Should I include a sub-section number or letter in my search?
· It's recommended you DO NOT
include sub-sections in your search. Example, if you are searching for Aggravated Vehicular Assault, section 120.04-a sub 1, your search query should be '120
'. To produce results with the exact article, section and sub-section your search query would need to be in the exact same format as stated in the criminal code. Example, your search query would have to be: '120.04-a
♦ Are there 'court decisions' here?
· No. This site contains the criminal code for the State of New York. It contains the ABC Law, the Penal Law, the Criminal Procedure Law and the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Searching for court rulings, 'nyc permits', 'homeland security', 'case law', 'people vs' or similar terms will not provide any results.
♦ Are there any local City, Town or Village ordinances here?
· No. This site contains the criminal code for the State of New York. It contains the ABC Law, the Penal Law, the Criminal Procedure Law and the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Searching for NYC codes or rules and regulations or similar items will not provide any results.
♦ Are your 'Miranda' Rights located here?
· No. This site contains the criminal code for the State of New York. Searching for 'miranda', '5th amendment', 'right to lawyer', 'remain silent' or similar terms will not provide any results. In 1966, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Miranda v. Arizona, declaring that whenever a person is taken into police custody, before being questioned he or she must be told of the Fifth Amendment right not to make any self-incriminating statements.
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
♦ Are there Police Departments policy and procedures here?
· No. There are no local department policy or procedures located on this site. Questions as: 'Where is my car located after it was towed?' or 'Where do I go to court for this ticket?' need to be answered by the local agency.
♦ Are there Police Records here?
· No. There are no police records here. There is no list of police facilities. This site contains the Consolidated Laws of New York State.
♦ Where is there a list of 'Deadly Weapons'?
· Definition of a 'Deadly Weapon' is located in Article 10
. "Deadly weapon
" means any loaded weapon from which a shot, readily capable of producing death or other serious physical injury, may be discharged, or a switchblade knife, gravity knife, pilum ballistic
knife, metal knuckle knife, dagger, billy, blackjack, plastic knuckles, or metal knuckles.
♦ No results are returned from my search?
· Are you searching the right criminal code? Example, if you are searching for DWI in the Penal Law or Criminal Procedure Law your results will be limited. DWI, Driving While Intoxicated, is an offense listed in the Vehicle and Traffic Code.
· Possible spelling issue? Try a wildcard search. Example: 'misd*
' for 'MISDEMEANOR', 'larc*
' for 'LARCENY', 'tres*
' for 'TRESPASS', 'poss*
' for 'POSSESSION', 'burg*
' for 'BURGLARY', 'hara*
' for 'HARASSMENT'.
♦ My search results are limited or not what I'm looking for.
· I recommend you try searching all the laws. Then change 'Match All Search Words' to 'Match Any Search Words'. Use wildcard characters to expand your search results (details listed below). Example, enter 'mari*
' if you are searching for offenses relating to 'marihuana
'. Note, in the examples listed here, do not include the single quote.
· When in doubt, search all the laws by using the Advanced Law Search
. Also try popular search terms for the Penal Law
, Criminal Procedure Law
and the Vehicle and Traffic Law
♦ Exact phrase searches
· An exact phrase search returns results where the phrase of words are found, in the same order that they are specified. For example, an exact phrase search for the words "police officer" would only return results where the phrase 'police officer' appears. It would not return pages where the words 'police' and 'officer' are found separately, or in a different order such as, 'officer police'.
· To specify an exact phrase search term, you need to enclose the words that form the phrase using double quotation marks. You can also combine the use of exact phrase searches with normal search terms and wildcard search terms within a single search query (eg. "police officer" employ*). Note however, that wildcards within exact phrases (eg. "police off*") are not supported.
♦ Wildcard searches
· You can use wildcard characters '*' and '?' in your search terms to search for multiple words and return larger set of results. An asterisk character ('*') in a search term represents any number of characters, while a question mark ('?') represents any single character.
· This allows you to perform advanced searches such as "crime*" which would return all pages containing words beginning with "crime". Similarly, "c???e" would return all pages containing five letter words beginning with 'c' and ending with 'e'. Also, "*car*" would be a search for any words containing the word "car".
♦ Match ANY search word (Boolean OR)
· Search for pages which contain AT LEAST ONE of the given search terms. The results will be sorted in order of the number of terms matched, and the determined relevancy score. Click the "match any search word" radio button to enable this search option.
♦ Match ALL search word (Boolean AND)
· Search for pages which contain ALL of the given search terms. The results will be sorted in order of the number of terms matched, and the determined relevancy score. Click the "match all search word" radio button to enable this search option.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this site is accurate and current, readers should consult with a qualified attorney before acting on any such information. No liability is assumed by this website for any losses suffered directly or indirectly by any person relying on the information because its accuracy or completeness cannot be guaranteed.