Second Degree Aggravated Harassment
What can easily be described by New York criminal lawyers as the “Phone Harassment Statute,” Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree (New York Penal Law 240.30) is an “A” misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Although there are four distinct subsections of Aggravated Harassment, the most common two subsections prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx) as well as in the neighboring counties of Westchester and Rockland, directly relate to some form of electric, telephonic, or mailed communication.
Generally, a person is guilty of NY PL 240.30 if and when that person intends to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” another individual. Further, this person must then:
(1)(a) communicate with the targeted individual by just about any form of communication including, mail, email or telephone in a manner that is likely to annoy or harm that person; or (1)(b) cause a communication to be initiated with that person with the same intent and in the same manner.
Alternatively, with the same intent to “harass, annoy, threaten or alarm” an individual, you (2) make a telephone call to that person (regardless of whether you actually have a conversation) without a legitimate purpose for that communication.
Examples of the conduct that might satisfy the elements of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree are phone calls, emails or letters where nothing is done other than “cursing out” the other party. However, it could be, at least for subsection (2), that an objective review of the evidence reflects a legitimate basis or reason for your phone calls even if they were unwelcomed by the other party.
- NY PL 240.30(4): Second Degree Aggravated Harassment & Physical Injuries
- Second Degree Harassment: New York Penal Law 240.26
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- Aggravated Harassment and Your Freedom of Speech
- Physical Contact: Can Spitting on Another Person Satisfy the Elements of NY PL 240.30
Often times the crime of Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree is part of a larger “domestic” incident. If the allegations against you are that you made these types of communications towards a sibling, spouse, cousin, fiancé, lover or any other “domestic” type partner, then there is another concern. Instead of possibly getting a Desk Appearance Ticket where you will be held for a few hours, finger printed and released with a date to return to court, a police officer must arrest and process you thought the system. Obviously, in the event you are contacted by the police or a detective you should consider consulting with a criminal lawyer who can prevent the police from questioning you, arrange for your surrender, investigate the allegations before you see a judge and attempt to expedite the process.
Call our New York criminal defense attorneys at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.