New York Penal Law § 215.52 - Aggravated Criminal Contempt
Aggravated Criminal Contempt is a more serious version of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree that prosecutors bring when a defendant violates an order of protection by causing the victim physical injury or when a defendant has a prior contempt conviction under certain sub-sections of NY Penal Law § 215.51. Aggravated Criminal Contempt is usually charged in connection to a domestic violence case.The Elements of Aggravated Criminal Contempt
Before a judge or jury can convict anyone of Aggravated Criminal Contempt, the government must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. However, when it comes to Aggravated Criminal Contempt, there are three subsections, each of which contains separate elements.
Aggravated Criminal Contempt under NY Penal Law § 215.52(1)
- The defendant violates an order of protection by intentionally or recklessly causing physical injury to the person who obtained the order.
Aggravated Criminal Contempt under NY Penal Law § 215.52(2)
- The defendant who has a previous conviction for Aggravated Criminal Contempt commits a violation of Criminal Contempt in the First Degree under subsections (b) or (d)
Aggravated Criminal Contempt under NY Penal Law § 215.52(3)
- A defendant commits Criminal Contempt in the First Degree and has a prior conviction for the same under subsection (b), (c) or (d).
Charges of Aggravated Criminal Contempt arise in two situations. The first comes up when a defendant inflicts physical injury against someone who has taken out an order of protection against them. The second situation where prosecutors bring charges of Aggravated Criminal Contempt is when the defendant is either:
- Charged with Criminal Contempt in the First Degree and has a previous conviction for Aggravated Criminal Contempt, or
- Charged with Criminal Contempt in the First Degree and has a previous conviction for Criminal Contempt in the First degree within the past five years.
In this way, the Aggravated Criminal Contempt statute is triggered either by committing an act of physical violence or by having a prior contempt conviction.Related Offenses to NY Penal Law § 215.52
Often, prosecutors bring Aggravated Criminal Contempt charges along with one or more of the following:
- Criminal Contempt in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 215.51
- Criminal Contempt in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 215.50
- Assault in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.00
- Assault in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 120.05
- Strangulation in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 121.12
- Intimidating a Victim or Witness in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 215.15
When Aggravated Criminal Contempt charges are based on a defendant’s prior conviction, it means they are alleged to have committed Criminal Contempt in the First Degree. Thus, the defenses would include challenging the reasonableness of the alleged victim’s fear of injury or challenging the prosecution’s evidence of the defendant’s intent to harass, annoy, or place the alleged victim in fear of injury.
For Aggravated Criminal Contempt charges alleging physical injury, defenses include:
- The defendant did not have actual knowledge of the order of protection; and
- The alleged victim did not suffer physical injury.
Aggravated Criminal Contempt is a class D felony. In New York, class D felonies are punishable by up to seven years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.Speak with an Experienced New York Criminal Defense Attorney About Aggravated Criminal Contempt Charges Today
If you’ve been charged with Aggravated Criminal Contempt, the dedicated New York criminal defense attorneys at Tilem & Associates, P.C., can help. For more than 25 years, we’ve represented good people charged with serious crimes, helping them move on with their lives after an arrest. 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.