New York Stalking
Stalking is a crime in New York, with a maximum penalty of 7 years in prison. Stalking is codified at New York Penal Code 120.45-120.60, and the statutory framework is nuanced and hard to navigate. New York’s stalking laws, generally speaking, prohibit two types of conduct. The first type of prohibited conduct consists of intentionally engaging in a pattern of doing things that will make a person afraid or will negatively impact a person. When there are factors that make the make the acts more frightening or have a greater negative impact the severity of the crime is enhanced. The second type of prohibited conduct consists of engaging in a pattern of doing acts with the intent to bother or cause stress to a person. This second type of conduct makes the basis for the most serious type kind of stalking charges.
If you or someone you love has been accused of stalking call our experienced New York criminal defense lawyers today.
The type of acts that victims may believe that stalking constitutes, may not always actually be acts that fit into a pattern, and may not be acts that reasonable people are afraid of. Here are some examples to help the reader distinguish the difference. Sending hundreds of threatening, violent, sexual, and otherwise unwanted text messages to a former significant other constitutes stalking. On the other hand, seeing an ex at the grocery store every other weekend because you both shop there is not stalking.
The following sets of facts some further examples where a pattern of acts was established that constituted stalking. In one case a defendant called a victim’s phone at their job in March, posted an envelope to the victim’s job in March, then showed up at the victim’s home in December. In another example, a defendant passed by the victim’s house in his car twice, then he waited by the front of the house two other times, and finally, he followed the victim to her car. In another example a defendant appeared at the victim’s office and gave her an envelope with unwanted pornographic materials inside, thereafter repeatedly showed up at the office without permission and unannounced, and finally the defendant followed the victim into a subway car and glared at her. In this final example, a defendant did not threaten the victim at all, he merely tried ridiculously hard to get in touch with her. In this case, the victim did not want to hear from the defendant at all, but, the defendant would not take no for an answer. He sent more than 20 envelopes through the mail to the victim’s old boss and her father. In each of these cases patterns of acts that showed stalking were established.
On the other hand, the following example of conduct was not sufficient to establish a pattern of acts as related to New York stalking charges. Where the accuser told the defendant to stop his attempts to get in touch with her, but the defendant appeared at a swimming pool where the accuser was a lifeguard on more than one occasion this did not constitute stalking.
Stalking is a highly fact specific crime. It is very important that your attorney be experienced at framing the facts in a way that benefits your case. Our lawyers are experienced trial attorneys have a strong track record of winning in front of juries. Call us today for a free consultation if you have been accused of stalking in the state of New York.