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Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 09:20 am
New York Penal Code § 120.14 covers the crime of Menacing in the Second Degree. This law makes it illegal to intentionally place or attempt to place another person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a weapon or repeatedly following/harassing someone.Menacing is no joke – it’s an A misdemeanor that can land you in jail for up to a year. Let’s break down the key things you need to know about NY Penal Code § 120.14 so you can avoid trouble.
There’s 3 main ways you can be charged with Menacing 2nd Degree:
So in a nutshell – don’t pull out weapons on people, and definitely don’t stalk them. Seems obvious but hey, people do dumb things when emotions run high.
As mentioned menacing 2nd is an A misdemeanor. If convicted, you can face:
That’s serious stuff for a simple moment of poor judgement. Definitely want to avoid this charge if possible.
To understand this law better, let’s look at some real world examples of what would (and wouldn’t) constitute Menacing 2nd Degree:
So in summary – menacing is all about the repeated harassment or threatening display of weapons. Simply being a jerk isn’t enough.
If you do get slapped with a menacing charge, there are defenses that your criminal lawyer can use to fight it:
A skilled lawyer knows how to poke holes in the prosecution’s case and show reasonable doubt. Don’t admit anything to police and let your attorney handle it.
If your menacing case involves family or an intimate partner, it will likely be treated as a domestic violence incident. This means:
Simply put, the stakes are high when family is involved. Don’t try to handle it yourself – get a lawyer on your side immediately.
If arrested for menacing 2nd degree, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:
The whole legal process can take many months to resolve. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Listen to your attorney’s advice at every stage for the best results.
To steer clear of a bogus menacing charge:
The key is creating evidence of your innocence and letting a pro handle the rest.
Over the years, New York has strengthened its menacing laws with tougher penalties and broader definitions of what constitutes a crime.For example, displaying pretty much anything that resembles a gun – even if it’s obviously fake – can now lead to a menacing charge after numerous police shootings of people holding toy weapons.Some legal experts argue this overly broad definition leads to abuse, with harmless actions being charged as menacing. But so far, the courts have upheld the expanded interpretation.The line between criminal menacing and just blowing off steam continues to blur. Best to avoid any behavior that could conceivably be seen as threatening just to be safe.
Menacing charges often arise from neighbor disputes, road rage incidents, workplace conflicts, landlord-tenant arguments, and volatile relationships.Emotions run high, someone loses their cool and crosses a line. Next thing you know, you’re in cuffs for menacing.If you find yourself in a heated dispute, take a breather before it escalates into criminal territory. Never lay hands on anyone or display anything resembling a weapon – even if it seems harmless to you.If the other person just won’t let it go, start documenting their obsessive behavior and get authorities involved. Crazy people will try to pull you down to their level. Don’t fall into that trap.
Even if a menacing charge doesn’t stick, just being arrested can ruin your reputation. People will assume you’re some gun-waving lunatic.Falsely accused? Don’t take it lying down. Sue for defamation, malicious prosecution, or false arrest. Turn the tables on the liar.When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Use the bad experience as inspiration to advocate for menacing law reform. Write your local politician. Start a support group for other false accusation victims. Turn pain into purpose.But also learn from the experience. Don’t put yourself in risky situations around unstable people. De-escalate conflicts early. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of legal headaches down the road.
Let’s wrap this up with a quick checklist if you or a loved one is accused of Menacing 2nd Degree:
With the right legal strategy and personal growth, a menacing charge doesn’t have to ruin your life. Now you know the law and consequences – make smart decisions.We all lose our cool sometimes. But learn how to walk away rather than escalate a situation into criminal charges that will haunt you forever. Don’t become another Menacing 2nd Degree statistic!This covers the basics of NY Penal Code § 120.14. Stay safe out there and beware of crazy people looking to drag you down. De-escalate conflicts early and often. And if falsely accused, fight back hard against the lies. Your liberty and reputation are on the line.
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