Over the course of the past 30 years, the state of the New York has taken stalking very seriously. Protecting people against stalking has become a priority for law enforcement officials across the Empire State.
One of the reasons law enforcement takes stalking complaints seriously is the reality that this type of crime can lead to other more serious offenses. These include assault, kidnapping, and sexual assault.
Elements of Stalking in the Second Degree
There are five general scenarios in which a person can be charged with stalking in the second degree, according to the New York Penal Code. First, a person can be charged with stalking in the second degree if he or she commits the crime of stalking in the third degree and displays, threatens to use, or possesses a deadly or dangerous weapon in the process.
Second, a person can be charged with stalking in the second degree if he or she commits the crime of stalking in the third degree and has been convicted of stalking in the previous five years. Third, a person can face a charge of stalking in the second degree if a person commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and has a prior conviction for stalking in the third degree.
Fourth, a stalking in the second degree case can be brought if a person who is 21 years of age or older continually places a child under the age of 14 in fear of physical harm or death. Finally, stalking in the second degree can be charged if a person previously was alleged to have stalked 10 or more other individuals, or was alleged to have stalked one person on 10 or more separate occasions, but was never charged based on those allegations.
Examples of Stalking in the Second Degree
An example of stalking in the second degree is a situation in which a former girlfriend telephones her ex-boyfriend about 10 times daily. She ultimately shows up at the man’s apartment on multiple occasions, demanding that the ex-boyfriend accompany her away from the home. She displays a gun in the process.
Another example of stalking in the second degree involves a man who follows a woman to and from work daily. He makes threatening remarks to her in the process, and even displays a knife on one such occasion.
Sentence for Stalking in the Second Degree
Stalking in the second degree is classified as a class E felony. As a result, a person convicted of stalking in the second degree faces up to a four year prison term. A court may also impose a fine of up to $5,000.
Defenses for Stalking in the Second Degree
Oftentimes, the heart of a defense to a charge of stalking in the second degree is contesting the veracity of the allegations made by the complaining witness or alleged victim. The statute of limitations may also be a defense. By that it is meant that too much time has lapsed and it is too late to pursue criminal charges in a stalking in the second degree case.
Skilled, experienced NYC criminal attorneys understand that strategies to employ to effectively defend against a charge of stalking in the second degree. The first step in retaining legal representation from a New York criminal defense lawyer is scheduling an initial consultation with legal counsel.
During an initial consultation, an attorney provides an evaluation of a case as well as a presentation of possible defense strategies. As a general practice, there is no fee charged for an initial consultation with a New York criminal defense lawyer in a stalking in the second degree case.