New York Stalking Crimes

New York Stalking Crimes: NY Penal Law 120.45, 120.50, 120.55 and 120.60

New York Stalking crimes are as frightening to a victim or complainant as they are life altering to an accused. Whether the crime you are arrested for involves Fourth Degree, Third Degree, Second Degree of First Degree Stalking, a conviction for any New York Stalking offense involves a very real risk of incarceration. Even if your Stalking defense lawyer convinces a judge to refrain from putting you in jail or sentencing you to prison, you should expect that prosecutors will seek and judges will grant and Order of Protection. In the event that that Stalking arrest or conviction is considered a Domestic Violence Crime, then many other collateral issues will come into play as well. At bottom, while an arrest for an offense is not the same as guilt, it is critical that you recognize the severity of any misdemeanor or felony Stalking crime – New York Penal Law 120.45, 120.50, 120.55 and 120.60 – and retain the best criminal defense attorney to overcome the allegations and your arrest in New York City or any of the municipalities of the Hudson Valley.

New York Stalking Crimes: The Basics

Irrespective of the Stalking degree you face, one of the common elements of Stalking crimes in New York is that you, the accused, have been or currently are engaged in a course of conduct directed at another person. As a result of your actions and this course of conduct, does your alleged target fear for his or her safety, material harm, serious physical injury or death? At any point did you brandish a weapon or dangerous instrument? Do you have a criminal record for certain specified offenses? All of these factors can potentially elevate not merely the degree of Stalking, but the associated sentence and punishment.

Outside of the potential degree of Stalking you face it is important to note that New York Stalking offenses may or may not involve other crimes but routinely encompass far greater misconduct. For example, in addition to a charge for Second Degree Stalking, NY PL 120.55, you may also be prosecuted for a degree of Menacing or Criminal Possession of a Weapon. In fact, Stalking may or may not be the top or most significant offense on a criminal court complaint or indictment. That said, depending on the degree of Stalking you are accused of or convicted for, courts can sentence you to as much as 90 days in jail on the lowest misdemeanor level offense to as long as seven years in prison on the most severe felony.

New York Stalking Crimes: Domestic v. Non-Familial

Without going into all the details, a Stalking arrest in New York can involve an alleged scorned lover or obsessed former intimate partner irrespective of age or gender. Similarly, an accused stalker could be pursuing a celebrity or other person in the public eye. Obviously, the nature or dynamic of the relationship, or lack thereof, differ, but the elements of the Stalking offense remains the same. What is worthy to note, however, is that because the crime of Stalking also violates the Family Court Act, a stalking victim can pursue an Order of Protection or Restraining Order in Family Court as opposed or in addition to seeking a remedy within the criminal justice system. Not mutually exclusive, both an accuser and accused can find themselves before a Family Court and Criminal Court should a complainant or petitioner wish to do so.

Regardless of the relationship between an alleged stalker and stalkee, know that it’s very likely that upon arrest and arraignment the accused will find him or herself before a judge who will entertain or in fact set bail while issuing a Stay Away Order. Even assuming you post bail or none is set, be smart. Continuation of stalking-type behavior, harassment, or contact in any capacity could lead to either a misdemeanor or felony arrest for Criminal Contempt in the Second or First Degree respectively.

New York Stalking Crimes: Protecting Yourself

At bottom, merely because you have not gotten over a damaged or terminated relationship or you have become a zealous fan of a celebrity, does not mean you have committed a crime. Might you have crossed the line or committed a stupid, but non-criminal act? Certainly. Might the target of your affection have a limited tolerance for your perceived wrongful behaviors? Sure. Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, know that you have rights.

Don’t let a New York Stalking arrest derail your career, embarrass you or your family or land you on the front page of the tabloids. Be smart. Protect yourself. Secure the right criminal defense counsel. Put yourself in the best position to resolve the allegations against you in the most appropriate manner. If you are the victim of an actual or perceived stalker, don’t wait until your life is on the line or your loved ones are in danger. Take the proactive steps to facilitate the end of your victimization.

Whatever the circumstance may be, no matter how early or late in the legal process or whether law enforcement is engaged at all, contact the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC. From New York City and the Hudson Valley to elsewhere in the State of New York, arm yourself with advocacy, knowledge and experience.

Call our criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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