New York Penal Law § 120.50 – Stalking in the Third Degree
Stalking in the Third Degree is a New York crime that provides enhanced punishment for those who stalk multiple people, place a single victim in fear of serious injury, or have a prior conviction for certain stalking-related offenses. Stalking in the 3rd degree is a class A misdemeanor.The Elements of Stalking in the Third Degree
A judge or jury cannot convict anyone of a New York stalking crime unless the government proves each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. There are a few ways someone may commit Stalking in the Third Degree, including:
- The defendant commits Stalking in the Fourth Degree against three or more people in three or more separate incidents;
- The defendant commits Stalking in the Fourth Degree and has previously been convicted of another serious crime against the same victim;
- The defendant puts another person in fear of serious injury, sexual assault, kidnapping or death.
- The defendant commits Stalking in the Fourth Degree and has a prior conviction for the same offense.
Examples of Stalking in the Third Degree include:
- A man repeatedly calls someone he was previously convicted of assaulting despite being asked not to;
- A woman stalks her former partner and his two children; and
- A man follows a co-worker home every day, making comments to her that cause her to fear that he will sexually assault her.
Most cases of Stalking in the Third Degree are simply a more serious version of Stalking in the Fourth Degree. Thus, prosecutors will almost always charge at least these two crimes. Additionally, depending on the situation, prosecutors also file one or more of the following:
- Stalking in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.60
- Stalking in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.55
- Stalking in the Fourth Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.45
- Harassment in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 240.25
- Harassment in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 240.26
- Menacing in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.14
- Menacing in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.15
- Promoting a Suicide Attempt – NY Penal Law § 120.30
- Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 240.31
- Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 240.30
There are many defenses to Stalking in the Third Degree, some of which include:
- The alleged victim’s fear of serious injury, sexual assault, or death was not reasonable;
- The offense used to trigger §120.50(2) was not a qualifying predicate crime;
- One or more of the three alleged victims needed to trigger §120.50(1) did not feel they had been victimized;
- The alleged victim made up the allegations; and
- The defendant had a legitimate reason for their actions.
Stalking in the Third Degree is a class A misdemeanor. In New York, a class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of as much as $1,000.Discuss Your Stalking Charges with an Experienced NY Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Stalking is a serious crime, and certainly, there are situations where these charges are appropriate. However, at Tilem & Associates, P.C., our experience has been that almost everyone charged with stalking did not think they were breaking the law and had no intention of doing so. Thus, we believe that stalking is overcharged, and because of this, good people end up getting wrapped up in a criminal case. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys proudly stand up for the rights and freedom of clients charged with stalking, harassment, domestic violence charges and more. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.