Being charged with menacing in the second degree does not mean that you actually caused physical injury. One can be brought up on Menacing charges merely by making another person fear that they are in danger of immediate physical injury. The statute that involves menacing actually states that there is a threat made on someone of death or immediate physical injury. According to the New York Penal Code 120.14, which is Menacing in the second degree, a person can gain this charge if during the act of threatening life or physical injury they displayed a weapon. A prosecutor mus short that one did the following things in order to have grounds to prosecute for menacing in the second degree:
- Intentionally following someone or engaging them in a way that will or could place them in physical danger or cause death.
- If there is an order of protection in place, one can be charged with menacing in the second degree, even if they commit the crime of menacing in the third degree.
- One can be charged if they display a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon which intentionally placing another being in fear of physical injury.
Two woman begin to argue about drugs. One claims that the other stole her drugs, and then, she pulls out a gun and points it at the woman. She then threatens to shoot the other woman with the guy. However, she actually puts the gun away and leaves, never firing the weapon. Despite that she never pulled the trigger, the woman who pulled out the gun could be charged with menacing in the second degree. By pulling out a weapon on the woman, she threatened and displayed a deadly weapon, which put the other woman in fear of physical injury.
- New York Penal Code § 120.13: Menacing in the first degree
- New York Penal Code § 120.15: Menacing in the third degree
- New York Penal Code § 120.18: Menacing a police officer or a peace officer
- New York Penal Code § 215.51: Criminal contempt in the first degree
In order to defend against these charges, it is for you to prove that you did not display a dangerous instrument or a deadly weapon, during the incident. It is worth mentioning that not all knives and guns are classified as “dangerous” or “deadly” weapons. An example of this is a small utility knife. Although it is a knife, due to its size, it is can be argued that it is not dangerous because it is not capable of causing death or any serious physical injury.
Menacing in the second degree is classified as a class A misdemeanor. Therefore, the maximum amount of jail time for this crime is up to 1 year in a county jail. Depending on the judge, someone convicted of this crime could possibly get sentenced to probation instead of jail. Plus, it is common practice that judge’s will require them to also pay a fine of up to $1,000.
New York Penal Code § 120.14: Menacing in the second degree
In order for a person to be found guilty of menacing in the second degree, they must:
- 1. She or he commits menacing in the third degree against someone who has a degree of protection in place and has full knowledge of this order because she or he was present in the court room when the order was issued.
- 2. He or she knowingly places someone else in danger of death, physical injury, or serious physical injury by using a deadly instrument or weapon, including but not limited to shotgun, pistol, machine gun, revolver, rifle, or other type of firearm
- 3. He or she engages in a course of conduct or follows a person over time with the intent of placing another person in reasonable fear of death, physical injury, or serious physical injury.