Second Degree Harassment: New York Penal Law 240.26

Usually associated with a New York Desk Appearance Ticket arrest, Harassment in the Second Degree, pursuant to New York Penal Law 240.26, is an offense that can have significant and long term consequences. Sometimes viewed as a “younger sibling” to the crime of Assault in the Third Degree (New York Penal Law 120.00), NY PL 240.26 is a distinct violation that is potentially punishable by incarceration in a local or county jail such as Rikers Island or the Westchester County Jail in Valhalla.

The most common arrests for Second Degree Harassment in New York relate to the first subsection of this offense. In substance, you are guilty of NY PL 240.26(1) when you have the requisite intent to alarm, harass or annoy a person and you do so or threaten to do so by kicking, striking, hitting or touching that person. Although less common, you are also guilty of Harassment in the Second Degree if you follow a person in a public place with the intent to alarm, harass or annoy them. Lastly, you will violate this statute if you engage in a course of conduct without a legitimate purpose that alarms or seriously annoys your “target.”

As briefly noted above, NY PL 240.26 may not be as serious as the crime of Third Degree Assault, but it is a violation that can cause significant collateral consequences. If you are convicted of this offense, will it show up on a background check? How will it impact professional licenses or certifications? What ramifications will it have to your immigration status? The reality is that there are many questions that need to be answered should you be arrested anywhere from Manhattan and Queens to Brooklyn or Westchester County.

There is no substitute for a well orchestrated and powerful defense whatever the charge may be. Whether the product of a Desk Appearance Ticket or “regular” arrest in New York, your Second Degree Harassment should not compromise your future. Put yourself in the best position to protect that future and contact one of the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC.

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