Is Stalking a Crime in New York?

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    Unfortunately, stalking is a crime that can impact anyone. If convicted, stalking charges can result in long-term imprisonment or hefty fines. If you believe that you could be under investigation or have already been arrested for allegedly stalking another person in New York, it’s in your best interest to contact our experienced Nassau County Criminal Defense Attorneys, who can help mount a strong defense strategy. 

    What Constitutes Stalking in New York?

    Stalking in New York is a more severe form of harassment. It’s generally characterized by a pattern of malicious and willful conduct. Simply put, the unwanted pursuit of another person involves threatening behavior. You can be charged with this offense if you knowingly, repeatedly, or specifically target an individual with repeated forms of harassment. The critical element of this offense is that it must be proven that they intentionally wanted to instill distress or fear or cause harm to the victim. Common behaviors that may result in a charge of stalking include:

    • Following a victim
    • Watching a victim
    • Trespassing or being near a victim’s home or workplace
    • Stealing or vandalizing a victim’s mail or property
    • Initiating unwanted contact via phone, text, mail, email, etc.
    • Tracking or monitoring a victim

    It’s crucial to note that the crime of stalking covers not only the primary victim but also their family members and friends. In addition, stalking includes physically threatening a victim or through electronic communications, in which case it is referred to as cyberstalking. Both stalking and cyberstalking are prohibited in New York and carry steep penalties.

    What Are the Potential Penalties?

    Under New York law, there are four degrees of stalking. Fourth and third-degree stalking are considered misdemeanor offenses, while second and first-degree stalking are classed as felony offenses. The consequences of stalking will depend on the severity of the behavior.

    • Fourth-degree stalking: A Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days of incarceration and up to $500 in fines.
    • Third-degree stalking: A Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of incarceration and up to $1,000 in fines.
    • Second-degree stalking: A Class E felony, punishable by up to four years of incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines.
    • First-degree stalking: A Class D felony, punishable by up to seven years of incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines.

    At Grunwald & Seman, P.C., we understand how serious this crime can be and the potential ramifications for those convicted. Our experienced Nassau County criminal defense attorney can provide you with quality legal counsel throughout every step of your case. Allow our firm to represent your interests today to maximize your chances of achieving the best possible outcome.

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