NYC Aggravated Harassment Lawyer Cody Warner Can Handle Any Harassment Charges 

Harassment and aggravated harassment are commonly charged offenses that can vary in severity from a non-criminal violation all the way up to a felony. An experienced NYC aggravated harassment lawyer can help you decode the charges you are facing, explain the potential penalties you face, and more importantly, help you put them behind you. 

What is Harassment?

The most basic form of harassment occurs when a person engages in some form of conduct directed at another person with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm that other person. Although harassment usually includes some form of physical contact with another, you do not need to physically contact the other person to be charged with harassment. 

New York has multiple harassment statutes, which provide an array of ways for the prosecution to charge a person with harassment. The penalties you may face if convicted can vary greatly depending on the specific harassment charge and the particular circumstances of your case, so it can be difficult to predict the outcome of your case. If you have been charged with harassment, contact an NYC aggravated harassment lawyer who can explain the charges you are facing and help determine the best path forward for your case.  

Harassment in the Second Degree

Harassment in the Second Degree (P.L. 240.26)  is the least serious harassment charge in New York. However, a conviction for Harassment in the Second Degree could result in up to fifteen days of jail time and would go on your permanent record as a violation, so the consequences can still be significant.

Harassment in the Second Degree is charged when the prosecution believes that you have engaged in conduct intended to harass, annoy, or alarm another person. This can include repeated acts or simply following the other person. It can also include physical contact with the other person in the form of shoving, kicking, striking, or a threat to cause physical harm.

If you are charged with Harassment in the Second Degree, you should contact an NYC aggravated harassment lawyer at your first opportunity so that you can get started preparing your best possible defense. 

Harassment in the First Degree 

Harassment in the First Degree (P.L. 240.25) is a more serious offense than second-degree harassment. It is a Class B Misdemeanor. A conviction for Harassment in the First Degree could result in up to three months of jail time and would go on your permanent record as a misdemeanor offense.  

Generally speaking, Harassment in the First Degree is charged when the prosecution believes that you have engaged in conduct, placing the victim in reasonable fear of physical injury. Unfortunately, the line between first-degree harassment and second-degree harassment is often unclear. In fact, defendants are often overcharged with Harassment in the First Degree when there is insufficient evidence to support that charge. Although it can be tempting in those situations to accept a plea deal to the lesser charge of Harassment in the Second Degree, a better deal can usually be obtained that doesn’t result in a criminal record. Therefore, if you are charged with Harassment in the First Degree, you should talk to an NYC aggravated harassment lawyer as soon as possible to help you understand your options and obtain the best possible result.  

What is Aggravated Harassment? 

If you have been charged with aggravated harassment, you are facing a serious criminal charge that carries harsher penalties than first or second-degree harassment. Aggravated harassment is charged in either first or second degree. Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree is a misdemeanor, and Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree is a felony. If you are facing either of these charges, you should contact an NYC aggravated harassment lawyer to ensure that you develop the best defense strategy for your case.

Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree  

Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree (P.L. 240.30) is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a potential sentence of up to one year of imprisonment. 

Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree is charged when the prosecution believes that you intended to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person by engaging in the following types of conduct: 

  • Communicating a threat to harm the other person, their property, or their family, either anonymously or otherwise, by phone, mail, or other written communication, or causing such communication to take place; 
  • Making phone calls with no intention of legitimate communication (even if no conversation took place); 
  • Threatening to strike, attempting to strike, or actually striking a person based on their race, color, religion, or another discriminatory basis; or
  • Striking someone to cause injury.

You can also be charged with Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree if you commit Harassment in the First Degree and have had a prior harassment conviction within the last ten years.

Although you can be charged with aggravated harassment for simply sending a threatening voice message or text, you may have a strong defense because of your First Amendment right to freedom of speech. Over the years, the New York Court of Appeals has repeatedly struck down sections of the aggravated harassment statutes after declaring those sections to be unconstitutional. Courts are typically mindful of a person’s right to freedom of speech, so depending on the specific content of your communication, an experienced NYC aggravated harassment lawyer may be able to file a motion to get your case dismissed.

Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree

Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree (P.L. 240.31), commonly referred to as a “hate crime,” is a Class E felony, which carries a potential prison sentence of up to four years and even longer if you have been convicted of a felony within the last ten years. 

Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree is charged when the prosecution believes that you intended to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person by engaging in the following specific types of conduct: 

  • Causing damage in excess of $50 to a place used primarily for religious purposes;
  • Placing a swastika or noose on public or private property without the permission of the property owner; or
  • Setting a cross on fire in public view.

You can also be charged with Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree if you commit Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree and have had a prior aggravated harassment conviction within the last ten years. 

If you have been charged with Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree, contact an NYC aggravated harassment lawyer to get started preparing your best possible defense. 

Contact NYC Aggravated Harassment Lawyer Cody Warner Today

If you have been charged with harassment or aggravated harassment, the prosecution will work tirelessly to convict you. Having an NYC aggravated harassment attorney on your side who can evaluate the case against you and help you navigate the complexities of the criminal justice system is critical. To discuss the charges against you and the ways in which an aggravated harassment attorney can help, contact Cody by phone or email to schedule a free consultation.