Hindering Prosecution Charge in New York

In People v. Williams (20 AD3d 72, 795 NYS2d 561 [2005]), the defendant was charged with hindering prosecution, as defined in Penal Law 205.50. The trial court dismissed the indictment as legally insufficient. The grand jury minutes showed that the defendant was working in a restaurant at the time of a gunpoint robbery. After the robbery, the defendant called the police and gave a description of the robber but neglected to tell the police that she recognized him as her boyfriend. The Appellate Division reversed and reinstated the indictment. The Court held that a deliberate nondisclosure of the identity of a known felon to the police during a criminal investigation constitutes criminal assistance by deception within the meaning of the hindering prosecution statute.