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.
Call (212) 627-3184 to speak to NYC criminal attorney Cody Warner to get help with your criminal charges. Let Cody help you navigate the criminal justice system to get the best results 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.
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.
What is Aggravated Harassment?
If you have been charged with aggravated harassment, you face 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.
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.
How Can an NYC Aggravated Harassment Lawyer Get a Charge Dismissed?
Although you can easily be charged with aggravated harassment for simply sending a threatening voice message or text, your lawyer may be able to get the charges dropped for various reasons, some of which include:
Many harassment charges are intertwined with allegations of domestic violence. Harassment charges based on the allegations of a domestic partner can oftentimes be difficult for the prosecution to prove, because domestic partners can be prone to exaggerate or fabricate incidents because of the emotionally charged nature of relationships. Domestic partners sometimes develop biases or motives to lie about the defendant.
If you have been falsely accused of harassment by a domestic partner, your attorney can investigate the complainant’s bias against you as well as any motives to lie. For instance, complainant’s will sometimes make up criminal allegations to try to better position themselves for a divorce or child custody proceeding.
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 for constitutional reasons.
Speedy Trial Violations
The prosecution must be ready for trial within a specific period of time, depending on the seriousness of the offense. Sometimes the the complainant becomes uncooperative with the prosecution and the prosecution is not able to go to trial within the time required by New York statute. In that event, you lawyer can file a motion to get your case dismissed.
Sometimes, the allegations made by the prosecution–even if true–don’t amount to an actual crime. When the allegations are insufficient to support a conviction, your lawyer can file a motion to dismiss your case. If the judge grants the motion, then your case will be dismissed and sealed.
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.