New York Penal Code § 120.55: Stalking in the second degree

The basic definition of stalking is the intentional and repeated act of annoying or harassing a person for no legitimate reason. Stalking is a crime in New York. In fact, the state takes stalking extremely seriously and tries to harshly punish anyone who is convicted of the crime. New York has different degrees of stalking. The degree and punishment depends on the type of actions that was allegedly involved.

What is New York Stalking in the Second Degree?

Stalking in the second degree is the intentionally engaging in a course of conduct that harasses and annoys a person. That course of conduct either places a person in actual or reasonable fear of being physically harmed. During the course of conduct, a person is accused of displaying a dangerous instrument, deadly weapon or firearm.

What is Course of Conduct in a Second Degree Stalking Charge?

The course of conduct is the action a person does while allegedly stalking. The conduct can various forms such as repeatedly phone calls, texting, sending emails or letters. The conduct may also include going by or staying at the alleged victim’s work, school or home without their consent.

How the State Proves Stalking in the Second Degree

The state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person committed stalking in the second degree. Prosecutors can prove an individual is of stalking in specific ways. First, the state can show the person committed stalking in the third degree. Third degree stalking involves the repeated harassing and annoying a victim. Once the state proves third degree stalking, prosecutors can then prove second degree stalking by proving there was some dangerous weapon involved such as a firearm.

The state can also prove an accused committed second degree stalking was 21 years or older and repeatedly annoyed or harassed a victim under 18 years old. This means an adult can be charged with repeatedly engaging in a course of conduct over a period of time. The course of conduct caused the minor to feel in fear of physical harm.

What is the Punishment for New York Stalking in the Second Degree?

In New York, stalking can be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the degree. A misdemeanor is less than one year in county jail. A felony is at least one year in state prison. Stalking in the second degree is a Class E felony. This means the punishment for second degree stalking is four years in state prison.

The Dangerous Aspect about a Stalking in the Second Degree Charge

The dangerous aspect about stalking in the second degree for an individual is that it may start out as a simple complainant from an alleged victim. However, prosecutors may take at face value. This means that they may not investigate an alleged victim’s true motives such as trying to get an individual in trouble. Thus, it’s important to understand that even a person who is innocent of the stalking could be charged with the crime.

Contact Us About Your Stalking in the Second Charge

Are you or a loved one accused of stalking in the second degree in New York? You have the legal right to fight this criminal charge. Contact our law firm about fighting this charge. We will build a strong defense strategy for you to prove your innocence. The exact defense strategy used will depend on the facts of your case. It’s important for you to know that you have a lot of defenses available to you such as innocence, alibi and there was no repeated course of conduct. We will also fight to get your second degree stalking charge reduced or dismissed. Contact us immediately.

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