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Stalking / Cyberstalking

When people engage in courses of conduct that harass or cause fear in other individuals, they can be charged with stalking. Stalking may involve physically threatening an alleged victim through repeated contact or it may involve electronic communications, in which cases it is referred to as cyberstalking.

Both physical stalking and cyberstalking are prohibited in New York, and alleged offenders can face serious criminal charges that carry steep penalties. If an alleged offense resulted in injury to an alleged victim, the crime becomes a felony offense.

Lawyer for Stalking / Cyberstalking Offenses in Nassau County, New York

Were you arrested or do you think that you might be under investigation in New York for allegedly stalking another person? Do not try to explain your side of the story to authorities without legal representation. Contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni as soon as possible.

Stephanie Selloni is a skilled criminal defense attorney in Nassau County who helps clients accused of domestic violence offenses in Lynbrook, Hempstead, Oyster Bay, Long Beach, Massapequa Park, and other nearby areas on Long Island. Call 516-972-1212 right now to have our lawyer review your case and discuss your legal options during a free initial consultation.

Overview of Stalking and Cyberstalking Crimes on Long Island


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New York Definitions of Stalking Terms

At its most basic criminal level, stalking is defined as a person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and knowing or reasonably should have known that such conduct was likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety, or property of an alleged victim, a member of alleged victim’s immediate family, or a third party with whom such alleged victim is acquainted.

The New York State Unified Court System criminal jury instructions for stalking offenses state that intent is defined as “conscious objective or purpose.” A person thus intentionally engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person when his or her conscious objective or purpose is to do so.

No legitimate purpose is defined as meaning there was no reason or justification to engage in the alleged course of conduct directed at a person, other than to hound, frighten, intimidate or threaten the person. Immediate family includes an alleged victim’s spouse, former spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any other person who regularly resides or has regularly resided in the household of an alleged victim.

Felony stalking offenses also make mention of alleged offender’s criminal records including a “specified predicate crime.” Under New York Penal Law § 120.40, a specified predicate crime can mean:

  • A violent felony offense;
  • Sexual misconduct;
  • Rape in the third or second degree;
  • Criminal sexual act in the third or second degree;
  • Sexual abuse in the third or second degree;
  • Aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree;
  • Incest in the third, second, or first degree;
  • Assault in the third degree;
  • Menacing in the second or first degree;
  • Coercion in the second or first degree;
  • Aggravated harassment in the second degree;
  • Harassment in the first degree;
  • Menacing in the third degree;
  • Criminal mischief in the third, second, or first degree;
  • Criminal tampering in the first degree;
  • Arson in the fourth or third degree;
  • Criminal contempt in the first degree;
  • Endangering the welfare of a child
  • Stalking in the fourth, third, or second degree; or
  • An offense in any other jurisdiction which includes all of the essential elements of any such crime for which a sentence to a term of imprisonment in excess of one year or a sentence of death was authorized and is authorized in this state irrespective of whether such sentence was imposed.

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Stalking Penalties in Nassau County

Four grades of stalking offenses are established under Article 120 of the New York State Penal Law. Numerous factors play into the classification of the crime, including the criminal history of the alleged offender, whether the alleged victim suffered any injuries, and whether a weapon was displayed or used in the commission of a stalking offense.

Stalking in the Fourth Degree, New York Penal Law § 120.45

It is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500 if an alleged offender intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and knows or reasonably should know that such conduct:

  • is likely to cause reasonable fear of material harm to the physical health, safety or property of such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted;
  • causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of such person, where such conduct consists of following, telephoning or initiating communication or contact with such person, a member of such person's immediate family or a third party with whom such person is acquainted, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct;
  • is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business or career is threatened, where such conduct consists of appearing, telephoning or initiating communication or contact at such person's place of employment or business, and the actor was previously clearly informed to cease that conduct.

Stalking in the Third Degree, New York Penal Law § 120.50

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

  • Commit the crime of stalking in the fourth degree against three or more persons, in three or more separate transactions, for which the alleged offender has not been previously convicted;
  • Commit the crime of stalking in the fourth degree against any person, having been previously convicted, within the preceding 10 years of a specified predicate crime, and the alleged victim of such specified predicate crime is the alleged victim, or an immediate family member of the alleged victim, of the present offense;
  • With intent to harass, annoy or alarm a specific person, intentionally engage in a course of conduct directed at such person which is likely to cause such person to reasonably fear physical injury or serious physical injury, the commission of a sex offense against, or the kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment or death of such person or a member of such person`s immediate family; or
  • Commit the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and be previously been convicted within the preceding 10 years of stalking in the fourth degree.

Stalking in the Second Degree, New York Penal Law § 120.55

It is a class E felony punishable by up to four years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for an alleged offender to:

  • Commit the crime of stalking in the third degree and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission of such offense display or possess and threaten the use of a firearm, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sandbag, sandclub, slingshot, slingshot, shirken, "Kung Fu Star," dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol, dangerous instrument, deadly instrument or deadly weapon; or display what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm;
  • Commit the crime of stalking in the third degree against any person, and having been previously convicted, within the preceding five years, of a specified predicate crime, and the alleged victim of such specified predicate crime is the alleged victim, or an immediate family member of the alleged victim, of the present offense;
  • Commit the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and having been previously convicted of stalking in the third degree against any person;
  • Being 21 years of age or older, repeatedly follow a person under the age of 14 or engage in a course of conduct or repeatedly commit acts over a period of time intentionally placing or attempting to place such person who is under the age of 14 in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death;
  • Commit the crime of stalking in the third degree against 10 or more persons, in 10 or more separate transactions, for which the alleged offender has not been previously convicted.

Stalking in the First Degree, New York Penal Law § 120.60

It is a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000 for an alleged offender to commit the crime of stalking in the third degree or stalking in the second degree and, in the course and furtherance thereof:

  • intentionally or recklessly cause physical injury to the alleged victim of such crime;
  • commit a class A misdemeanor sex offense;
  • commit a class E felony rape in the third degree, criminal sexual act in the third degree, or female genital mutilation; or
  • commit a class D felony rape in the second degree or criminal sexual act in the second degree.

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New York Resources for Cyberstalking Arrests

Stalking | New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) — The OPDV is the only executive-level state agency in the nation dedicated to the issue of domestic violence. On this section of the OPDV website, you can find information related to stalking offenses. In addition differentiating stalking from cyberstalking, you can also learn more about common stalking behaviors and the impact the crime has on victims.

New York State Stalking Laws | Safe Horizon — As the largest non-profit victim services agency in the United States, Safe Horizon provides support for victims of domestic and intimate partner violence, including stalking. On this section of the organization’s website, you can read about the various statutes relating to stalking offenses. You can also download a free "Stop the Stalker" Tip Card and Tech Safety Brochure.


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Law Office of Stephanie Selloni | Nassau County Stalking Lawyer

If you believe that you could be under investigation or you have already been arrested for allegedly stalking another person in New York, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today for help fighting to possibly get these criminal charges reduced or dismissed.

Nassau County criminal defense attorney Stephanie Selloni defends clients in Freeport, North Hempstead, Glen Cove, Garden City, Mineola, and many surrounding communities on Long Island. She can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call 516-972-1212 or submit an online contact form to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


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