Stalking can be charged in the fourth, third and second degree. These charges can not only be brought in criminal court but can also end up causing charges to be brought in family court, depending on the context of the stalking. While the criminal charges are serious on their own, our experienced team of New York attorneys can handle both the criminal charges as well as the other civil charges that may be brought.
The charges of stalking can be brought against a person who has intentionally and for no legitimate purpose engages in conduct directed at a specific person that falls under a few different categories. Stalking in the fourth degree is when a person acts in such conduct that is likely to cause reasonable fear of harm to physical health, safety or property of another person, their immediate family or someone who is acquainted with them. If they actually cause the harm that was likely to be caused by initiating communication, contact or phoning that person when they have clearly previously informed the initial actor to cease the conduct, or if they are likely to cause reasonable fear that a person’s career, business or employment is threatened when conduct has happened like appearing or initiating conduct at a person’s employment, they can also be charged with stalking in the fourth degree. This charge is a class B misdemeanor, and punishable by up to 3 months in prison or one year probation.
If a person has done the actions described above to three or more separate people, in three or more different actions but have not been previously convicted of each of the actions, they can be charged with stalking in the third degree. This can also be charged if a person has been previously charged with stalking in any degree, a violent felony, assault, or a myriad of other offenses in the previous ten years and the victim of both the current charge and the previous charge are the same. A third way to be charged with stalking in the third is if they have intent to harass, alarm or annoy a specific person which is likely to cause reasonable fear of a sex offense, kidnapping or death of a person. This charge is a class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail or three years of probation.
The highest charge of stalking, stalking in the second degree, is charged when a person has committed the acts to be charged with stalking in the third degree and include the use of a dangerous weapon, or have been convicted of stalking in the third in the past five years. It can also be charged when a person over 21 years of age repeatedly continues attempting to place themselves in the area of a person who is under fourteen. This charge is a class E felony and the most serious of the charges, punishable by up to 4 years of probation.
No matter what degree the charges are, our experienced team of New York attorneys are here to help, call us now to discuss what options are available in handling your case.