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Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 01:12 pm
Stalking in the Second Degree is a serious felony offense in New York that involves repeatedly harassing or threatening someone in a way that causes them to fear for their safety. This crime can have devastating effects on victims and carries harsh penalties, so it’s important to understand what constitutes stalking under New York law.
New York has several stalking offenses ranging from misdemeanors to felonies:
Higher level stalking charges generally require aggravating factors like the use of a weapon, threats of physical harm, or prior stalking convictions.
Stalking involves a “course of conduct” meaning two or more acts over a period of time that are directed at a specific person. Acts can include following, telephoning, sending messages, or any other unwanted contact that causes fear or alarm.
To be convicted of Stalking in the Second Degree in New York, the prosecution must prove:
Stalking in the Second Degree is a class E felony punishable by:
The court will also likely issue an order of protection prohibiting contact with the victim. A felony conviction causes permanent damage to one’s criminal record and impacts future employment opportunities.
Here are some examples of circumstances that could potentially lead to a charge of Stalking in the Second Degree:
Some possible defenses to Stalking in the Second Degree charges include:
If charged with Stalking in the Second Degree or any other crime in New York, it is critical to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your rights, build an effective defense, and achieve the best possible outcome in your case.
Most states have enacted laws prohibiting stalking or criminal harassment. Charges and penalties vary but commonly include:
California – Stalking under Penal Code 646.9 is a wobbler offense that can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. Felony stalking can result in up to 5 years imprisonment.
Florida – Stalking under Fla. Stat. 784.048 is a first degree misdemeanor but escalates to a third degree felony for aggravated stalking. Florida also makes cyberstalking a crime under a separate law.
Illinois – Stalking under 720 ILCS 5/12-7.3 is a Class 4 felony punishable by 1-3 years imprisonment and fines up to $25,000. Aggravated stalking is a Class 3 felony with harsher penalties.
Texas – Under Tex. Penal Code 42.072, stalking is typically a Class A misdemeanor but enhances to a third degree felony upon a second conviction.
Washington – The crime of stalking under RCW 9A.46.110 is a Class B felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine.
It’s clear stalking and harassment are taken very seriously across the United States. Early intervention from an experienced criminal attorney is critical whenever facing such allegations.
I hope this overview of New York Penal Code 120.55 – Stalking in the Second Degree provides useful information and context around this serious felony offense. Stalking charges should never be taken lightly given the steep penalties and lasting impact on one’s life. Please let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!
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