What is aggravated harassment?



    Being charged with the harassment of another party is a charge that should not be taken lightly. There is a social stigma against harassment charges that may have an impact on the jobs you can get and the housing you may be eligible for. There are two different types of harassment. General harassment, which can result in a Class B misdemeanor and aggravated harassment, which can result in charges as high as a Class E felony.

    Aggravated harassment in the first degree is the most serious harassment charge that one can face. This is defined as the “intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, because of a belief or perception regarding such person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct…”

    Many of these charges are related to the race or religion of the victim and are the result of hate crimes directed at a certain group of people. First degree aggravated harassment charges are administered when a religious premises is damaged and the cost of the damage is over $50. A person may also be charged with this crime if they have committed second-degree aggravated harassment after having previously been convicted of aggravated harassment within the last ten years.

    Crimes of this nature are not tolerated in New York State and those who commit them will be prosecuted. A conviction of this nature will have lasting impacts on your life, as racism and religious discrimination goes against the inclusive beliefs that the vast majority of people have today. If you have been charged with a crime of this nature, you will require the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

    If you are in need of experienced legal counsel in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you. 

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