While forcible touching is a lower level offense compared to other sex offenses, it is still considered a sex offense, and because of this, it still has severe long lasting effects for those who are convicted of it. Forcible touching occurs when an individual intentionally and forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person with the purpose to abuse/degrade the other person, or to satisfy the individuals own desires. The term “forcible touching” is defined broadly as “any bodily contact involving the application of some level of pressure to the victim’s sexual or intimate parts”.

[1] It is easy to see how simply horsing around with someone in an inappropriate way can lead to a serious sex offense charge.

Forcible touching (PL 130.52) is classified as an “A” misdemeanor, which is punishable by either one (1) year in jail or three (3) years of probation, and with a fine of $1,000.[2] Despite the fact that forcible touching is a misdemeanor, an individual convicted of it is still subject to the requirements Sex Offender Registration Act. Thus, anyone convicted of Forcible Touching will be required to register as a sex offender.[3]

Forcible Touching (PL 130.52) in Albany

A person is guilty of forcible touching when such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose:

  1. forcibly touches the sexual or other intimate parts of another person for the purpose of degrading or abusing such person, or for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire; or
  2. subjects another person to sexual contact for the purpose of gratifying the actor’s sexual desire and with intent to degrade or abuse such other person while such other person is a passenger on a bus, train, or subway car operated by any transit agency, authority or company, public or private, whose operation is authorized by New York state or any of its political subdivisions.

For the purposes of this section, forcible touching includes squeezing, grabbing or pinching


Touching another person in an inappropriate way is never ok, but sometimes simply fooling around with another person can be misconstrued by that person (most of the time rightfully so) and a charge of forcible touching results. Although in that instance an individual’s behavior is inappropriate, they should not have to pay for it for the rest of their life by being a sex offender and having a criminal record. Make no mistake, having a criminal record combined with being a registered sex offender make it almost impossible to live a normal life. That is why it is extremely important to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney about situations such as those that give rise to a charge of forcible touching, so that the damage can be mitigated, or the charges fought.

[1] People v. Guaman, 22 N.Y.3d 678 (2014)
[2] New York Penal Law Title E
[3] New York Correction Law Article 6-C