New York State Law

Penal Law

Consolidated Laws of New York's Penal code

Article 20 - NY Penal Law


S 20.00 Criminal liability for conduct of another.
  When one person engages in conduct which constitutes an offense,
another person is criminally liable for such conduct when, acting with
the mental culpability required for the commission thereof, he solicits,
requests, commands, importunes, or intentionally aids such person to
engage in such conduct.

S 20.05 Criminal liability for conduct of another; no defense.
  In any prosecution for an offense in which the criminal liability of
the defendant is based upon the conduct of another person pursuant to
section 20.00, it is no defense that:
  1. Such other person is not guilty of the offense in question owing to
criminal irresponsibility or other legal incapacity or exemption, or to
unawareness of the criminal nature of the conduct in question or of the
defendant`s criminal purpose or to other factors precluding the mental
state required for the commission of the offense in question; or
  2. Such other person has not been prosecuted for or convicted of any
offense based upon the conduct in question, or has previously been
acquitted thereof, or has legal immunity from prosecution therefor; or
  3. The offense in question, as defined, can be committed only by a
particular class or classes of persons, and the defendant, not belonging
to such class or classes, is for that reason legally incapable of
committing the offense in an individual capacity.

S 20.10 Criminal liability for conduct of another; exemption.
  Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 20.00 and 20.05, a person
is not criminally liable for conduct of another person constituting an
offense when his own conduct, though causing or aiding the commission of
such offense, is of a kind that is necessarily incidental thereto. If
such conduct constitutes a related but separate offense upon the part of
the actor, he is liable for that offense only and not for the conduct or
offense committed by the other person.

S 20.15 Convictions for different degrees of offense.
  Except as otherwise expressly provided in this chapter, when, pursuant
to section 20.00, two or more persons are criminally liable for an
offense which is divided into degrees, each person is guilty of such
degree as is compatible with his own culpable mental state and with his
own accountability for an aggravating fact or circumstance.

S 20.20 Criminal liability of corporations.
  1. As used in this section:
  (a) "Agent" means any director, officer or employee of a corporation,
or any other person who is authorized to act in behalf of the
  (b) "High managerial agent" means an officer of a corporation or any
other agent in a position of comparable authority with respect to the
formulation of corporate policy or the supervision in a managerial
capacity of subordinate employees.
  2. A corporation is guilty of an offense when:
  (a) The conduct constituting the offense consists of an omission to
discharge a specific duty of affirmative performance imposed on
corporations by law; or
  (b) The conduct constituting the offense is engaged in, authorized,
solicited, requested, commanded, or recklessly tolerated by the board of
directors or by a high managerial agent acting within the scope of his
employment and in behalf of the corporation; or
  (c) The conduct constituting the offense is engaged in by an agent of
the corporation while acting within the scope of his employment and in
behalf of the corporation, and the offense is (i) a misdemeanor or a
violation, (ii) one defined by a statute which clearly indicates a
legislative intent to impose such criminal liability on a corporation,
or (iii) any offense set forth in title twenty-seven of article
seventy-one of the environmental conservation law.

S 20.25 Criminal liability of an individual for corporate conduct.
  A person is criminally liable for conduct constituting an offense
which he performs or causes to be performed in the name of or in behalf
of a corporation to the same extent as if such conduct were performed in
his own name or behalf.

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