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Is Jumping Turnstiles Really Illegal In New York?


Although jumping a turnstile is probably one of the most innocuous crimes you can commit in New York, it has been the subject of considerable controversy over the years. Also known as “fare evasion,” jumping a turnstile in the NYC subway system is in fact a crime. That being said, there have been numerous initiatives over the past few years that have pushed to have this offense decriminalized entirely. So where do we stand today? What consequences can you expect if you have been charged with fare evasion?

If you’re facing charges after jumping a turnstile, it’s probably a good idea to get in touch with a qualified, experienced criminal defense attorney. Although these charges may result in nothing more than a slap on the wrist, the offense can still end up on your permanent record. It’s best to avoid legal consequences altogether, and the best way to do this is by enlisting the help of a skilled attorney in New York.

New York’s Long History of Fare Evasion Legislation 

New York’s philosophy for dealing with fare evasion has been inconsistent over the years. When you consider the long and checkered history of police response to this crime, one might even say that it has been almost schizophrenic in nature.

In 2018, it was reported that Manhattan had stopped prosecuting turnstile jumpers altogether. This decision was almost immediately questioned by many New Yorkers, who worried that it could lead to further crimes in the subway system. That year, the police refused to share data on how they enforced the fare evasion laws, despite a city law that required them to make this data available. Over the years, many observers have claimed that these laws unfairly target New York’s poorest citizens.

Fast forward a few years, and the philosophy on turnstile jumping is quite different. Instead of choosing not to prosecute offenders, the city has actually stepped up its fight against those who choose to jump turnstiles. Governor Cuomo oversaw an increased presence of 500 NYPD and MTA police officers in the subway system, and many of these officers have been writing tickets for those who have jumped turnstiles. These police officers were also mobilized to deal with growing instances of violent crime in the city.

What is the Penalty for Fare Evasion in New York? 

While jumping a turnstile is still technically a criminal offense, the penalties are relatively light. It falls into the same general category as a parking ticket, and you will be fined $100 if caught. However, you can appeal the decision and avoid paying the fine.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today 

For help with your case, contact dedicated New York criminal defense attorney Phillip J. Murphy. Thanks to a wealth of experience with a range of criminal cases, Phillip J. Murphy is well-equipped to help you if you have been charged with fare evasion. Reach out and book your consultation today.





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Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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