I've lived here just as long, and you just told me something I didn't know either. However, unfortunately, like the saying goes, ignorance of the law is no excuse. That is, the police officer was right. We are each of us deemed to know all of the laws of our state, whether that's true or not. Otherwise, we could always say, "I didn't know it was wrong," and get of of the hook.
I am looking at the NYC park regulations and I can't find this one. It must be buried somewhere. If you know the section of the law -- it should be on the ticket -- let me know. But all of these park regulations are Class B misdemeanors
. They carry a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail, but they are always reduced to violations (which are not crimes) or are ACD'd. An ACD is a dismissal but it doesn't seal for 6 months during which time you have to refrain from getting arrested again, which I am sure is not going to be a problem for you.
This case is not worth more than an ACD, and that's what I expect to happen. When you show up in court
, if it is not dismissed outright, you can plead not guilty when you are arraigned and ask the judge for an ACD if the DA doesn't offer you one.
An ACD does not require a plea of guilty. It is not a criminal
conviction. It is a dismissal. All records of it will be destroyed in 6 month from the date you agree to the ACD and it will be sealed and not turn up on a background check.