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Harassment and Menacing

In certain situations, a person’s threatening words can lead to him or her facing criminal charges. Menacing and harassment are two such offenses that are based on alleged offenders placing alleged victims in fear of physical injury.

Even misdemeanor versions of these crimes can have serious, long-lasting consequences for people who are convicted of the offenses. A person with a menacing or harassment charge on his or her criminal record can experience extreme difficulties obtaining employment, housing, or professional licensing.

Lawyer for Menacing or Harassment Crimes in Nassau County, New York

Were you arrested in New York for allegedly harassing or menacing another person? You will want to contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni before you make any kind of statement to authorities.

Stephanie Selloni is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Nassau County who represents clients in Oyster Bay, Long Beach, Hempstead, Mineola, Lynbrook, and surrounding areas on Long Island. She strongly defends individuals charged with domestic violence and other related charges, including harassment, menacing, strangulation, domestic assault, and violation of a protection order.

She will provide and honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call 516-972-1212 today to set up a free, confidential consultation.

Overview of Harassment and Menacing Offenses in New York


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Harassment Penalties on Long Island

Harassment crimes are established among offenses against public order in Article 240 of the New York Penal Law. A person may be charged with either one of two basic grades of harassment or one of two grades of aggravated harassment.

Harassment in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law § 240.26

It is a violation punishable by a fine of up to $250 and/or up to 15 days in jail for an alleged offender, with intent to harass, annoy or alarm another person, to:

  • Strike, shove, kick or otherwise subject an alleged victim to physical contact, or attempt or threaten to do the same;
  • Follow a person in or about a public place or places; or
  • Engage in a course of conduct or repeatedly commit acts which alarm or seriously annoy an alleged victim and which serve no legitimate purpose.

Harassment in the First Degree, New York Penal Law § 240.25

It is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 90 days in jail for an alleged offender to intentionally and repeatedly harass another person by following the alleged victim in or about a public place or places or by engaging in a course of conduct or by repeatedly committing acts which places the alleged victim in reasonable fear of physical injury.

Aggravated Harassment in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law § 240.30

It is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail for an alleged offender to:

  • With intent to harass another person, either communicate, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, by computer or any other electronic means, or by mail, or by transmitting or delivering any other form of communication, a threat to cause physical harm to, or unlawful harm to the property of, an alleged victim, or a member of such alleged victim's same family or household, and the alleged offender knows or reasonably should know that such communication will cause such alleged victim to reasonably fear harm to alleged victim's physical safety or property, or to the physical safety or property of a member of such alleged victim's same family or household;
  • With intent to harass another person, cause a communication to be initiated anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, by computer or any other electronic means, or by mail, or by transmitting or delivering any other form of communication, a threat to cause physical harm to, or unlawful harm to the property of, an alleged victim, a member of an alleged victim's same family or household, and the alleged offender knows or reasonably should know that such communication will cause such alleged victim to reasonably fear harm to such alleged victim's physical safety or property, or to the physical safety or property of a member of such alleged victim's same family or household;
  • With intent to harass or threaten another person, make a telephone call, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate communication;
  • With intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person, strike, shove, kick, or otherwise subject an alleged victim to physical contact, or attempt or threaten to do the same because of a belief or perception regarding such alleged victim's race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct;
  • With the intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, strike, shove, kick or otherwise subject another person to physical contact thereby causing physical injury to an alleged victim or to a family or household member of such alleged victim; or
  • Commit the crime of harassment in the first degree after having previously been convicted of the crime of harassment in the first degree within the preceding 10 years.

Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree, New York Penal Law § 240.31

It is a class E felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to four years in prison for an alleged offender, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, because of a belief or perception regarding an alleged victim’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct, to:

  • Damage premises primarily used for religious purposes, or acquired pursuant to section six of the religious corporation law and maintained for purposes of religious instruction, and the damage to the premises exceeds $50;
  • Commit the crime of aggravated harassment in the second degree by, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person, striking, shoving, kicking, or otherwise subjecting an alleged victim to physical contact, or attempting or threatening to do the same because of a belief or perception regarding such alleged victim's race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation, regardless of whether the belief or perception is correct, after having been previously convicted of aggravated harassment in the second degree for the commission of same conduct or having been previously convicted of aggravated harassment in the first degree within the preceding 10 years;
  • Etch, paint, draw upon or otherwise place a swastika on any building or other real property, public or private, owned by any person, firm or corporation or any public agency or instrumentality, without express permission of the owner or operator of such building or real property;
  • Set on fire a cross in public view; or
  • Etch, paint, draw upon or otherwise place or display a noose on any building or other real property, public or private, owned by any person, firm or corporation or any public agency or instrumentality, without the express permission of the owner or operator of such building or real property.

Aggravated harassment of a correctional facility employee by an inmate is also a class E felony under New York Penal Law § 240.32.


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Menacing Penalties in Nassau County

Menacing crimes are established among assault and related offenses in Article 120 of the New York Penal Law. Depending on the alleged conduct, the criminal record of the alleged offender, and the alleged victim, a person may be charged one of four grades menacing.

Menacing in the Third Degree, New York Penal Law § 120.15

It is a class B misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 90 days in jail for an alleged offender, by physical menace, to intentionally place or attempt to place an alleged victim in fear of death, imminent serious physical injury, or physical injury.

Menacing in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law § 120.14

It is a class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail for an alleged offender to:

  • Intentionally place or attempt to place an alleged victim in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury, or death by displaying a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or what appears to
  • be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm;
  • Repeatedly follow a person or engage in a course of conduct or repeatedly commit acts over a period of time intentionally placing or attempting to place an alleged victim in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury, or death; or
  • Commit the crime of menacing in the third degree in violation of that part of a duly served order of protection, or such order which the defendant has actual knowledge of because he or she was present in court when such order was issued, or an order of protection issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in another state, territorial or tribal jurisdiction, which directed the alleged offender to stay away from alleged victim or persons on whose behalf the order was issued.

Menacing in the First Degree, New York Penal Law § 120.13

It is a class E felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to four years in prison for an alleged offender to commit the crime of menacing in the second degree after having been previously convicted of menacing in the second degree or menacing a police officer or peace officer within the preceding 10 years.

Menacing a Police Officer or Peace Officer, New York Penal Law § 120.18

It is a class D felony punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to seven years in prison for an alleged offender to intentionally place or attempt to place a police officer or peace officer in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury, or death by displaying a deadly weapon, knife, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm, whether operable or not, where such officer was in the course of performing his or her official duties and the alleged offender knew or reasonably should have known that such alleged victim was a police officer or peace officer.


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New York Resources for Harassment Arrests

Family and Domestic Violence Task Force | Nassau County — The Nassau County Family and Domestic Violence Task Force is comprised of representatives of public and private agencies and organizations who work together to reduce the incidence of all forms of family violence in Nassau County—including domestic violence, sexual assault, and dating violence. On this website, you can learn who to contact and what to do if you have been the victim of domestic violence. You can also find task force reports, data trends, and recommendations.

L.I. Against Domestic Violence — Originally incorporated as the Long Island Woman's Coalition in 1976, L.I. Against Domestic Violence is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that helps victims of domestic violence on Long Island. On this website, you can learn more about the organization, some of the services the organization provides, and recent news. You can also find a calendar of upcoming events and resources for staying safe including a hotline number and safety plan.


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Law Office of Stephanie Selloni | Nassau County Menacing Defense Lawyer

If you were arrested in the state of New York for alleged harassment or menacing, do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. It will be in your best interest to immediately contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni.

Nassau County criminal defense attorney Stephanie Selloni represents clients in Garden City, Freeport, Massapequa Park, North Hempstead, Glen Cove, and many other nearby villages on Long Island. Call 516-972-1212 or fill out an online contact form right now to take advantage of a free consultation that will let our lawyer review your case and answer all of your legal questions.


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