State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. announced that the New York State Senate approved legislation today that he sponsors that would raise the penalties for impersonating an attorney to a Class E penalty.
"When a New Yorker hires a lawyer they should be assured that person has been properly trained and educated in the practice of law," said Senator Fuschillo, who is the Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee. "Raising the penalties for unscrupulous con artists who pose as attorneys will provide an increased deterrent for these criminals and will help protect New Yorkers who are seeking legal services."
Senator Fuschillo legislation (S. 2358) would raise the penalties for impersonating an attorney to a class E felony, which is punishable by a maximum fine of $5,000 and/or up to 4 years in prison. Under current law, the crime of illegally practicing law is only a class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or up to 1 year in prison. S. 2358 would make the penalty for the crime of posing as a lawyer consistent with the punishment of impersonating a licensed professional under current law, which includes physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, certified public accountants and all professions that require a license.
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