New York Penal Law § 120.60 – Stalking in the First Degree
Stalking in the First Degree is New York’s most serious stalking crime. More specifically, first-degree stalking involves situations in which someone commits Stalking in the Second or Third Degree, and they either cause physical injury to the victim or commit certain sex offenses in the process. Stalking in the 1st degree is a class D felony.The Elements of Stalking in the First Degree
To prove the charge of Stalking in the First Degree, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements:
- The defendant engaged in repetitive actions that were directed at the alleged victim;
- The defendant carried out their actions intentionally and with the purpose of harassing, annoying or alarming the alleged victim;
- The defendant’s actions were likely to cause the alleged victim to reasonably fear injury, death, sexual assault or kidnapping;
- In the process, the defendant committed a class A misdemeanor sex offense or felony sex offense such as Rape in the Second or Third Degree, Criminal Sexual Act in the Second or Third Degree, or Female Genital Mutilation.
Examples of Stalking in the First Degree include:
- The defendant regularly follows a co-worker home from work, making comments that put the co-worker in fear of a sexual assault, and the defendant ultimately sexually assaulted the co-worker.
- The defendant repeatedly follows a child home from school, threatening that if she doesn’t get into his car, he will kill her family.
Because Stalking in the First Degree often involves criminal threats or the commission of other crimes, prosecutors will almost always charge a defendant with at least one other crime. Some of the most common offenses related to Stalking in the First Degree include:
- Stalking in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.55
- Stalking in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.50
- Stalking in the Fourth Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.45
- Rape in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.30
- Rape in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.25
- Female Genital Mutilation – NY Penal Law § 130.85
- Criminal Sexual Act in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.45
- Criminal Sexual Act in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 130.40
- 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 First Degree, some of which include:
- The alleged victim’s fear was not reasonable, given the circumstances;
- The defendant’s actions were not intended to cause the alleged victim fear;
- The prosecution failed to prove the elements of a qualifying offense under § 120.60(2)
- The alleged victim fabricated the allegations against the defendant; and
- The defendant had a legitimate reason for their actions.
Stalking in the First Degree is a class D felony. In New York, a class D felony is punishable by up to seven years in state prison. Additionally, the court may impose a fine of up to $5,000.Speak with an Experienced New York Criminal Defense Attorney About Your Stalking Charges Today
At Tilem & Associates, P.C., our dedicated NY criminal defense attorneys have four decades of hands-on experience representing individuals charged with New York felony stalking crimes. We understand the seriousness of these charges, the impact a conviction could have on your life, and how to effectively defend against even the toughest stalking cases, meaning we can provide you with the defense you need to ensure the best possible outcome. 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.