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Aggravated Harassment In The First Degree

There are standard harassment offenses, aggravated harassment charges, and accusations of inmate harassment of corrections personnel under New York law. Some of these offenses overlap with assault laws, and it’s not unusual for someone to face charges for both harassment and assault.

Each level of severity assigned to criminal charges corresponds to a more severe potential punishment. Like other crimes, harassment charges are classified into three categories: violations, misdemeanors, and felonies, the latter of which carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

New York Aggravated Harassment In The First Degree Attorney

If you have been accused of committing aggravated harassment in the first degree,  Law Office of Stephanie Selloni can provide professional guidance and counsel while investigating every facet of your case. Attorney Stephanie Selloni is committed to helping her clients achieve favorable outcomes for every case. She is prepared to do the same for you.

Law Office of Stephanie Selloni is located in Garden City, but we serve clients throughout Nassau County, including Uniondale, Levittown, Mineola, and Hempstead. Law Office of Stephanie Selloni also accepts cases in Suffolk County and the five boroughs of New York City. Call (516) 972-1212 to schedule your first consultation.

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Information Center

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First Degree Harassment

First-degree harassment is a serious harassment charge with serious penalties. Second-degree harassment includes actions like annoying, harassing, or alarming the victim, but first-degree harassment takes it further. This form of harassment puts a person in fear of physical injury. To be guilty of first-degree harassment, a person must be intentionally and repeatedly harassing another person. This can include cyberstalking, phone calls, emails, or repeatedly following.

The potential sentence for this class B misdemeanor is up to three months in jail. However, there are exceptions if the allegedly harassing actions are covered by the Railway Labor Act, Federal Employment Labor Management Act, or National Labor Relations Act.

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Aggravated Harassment

Compared to first or second-degree harassment, the allegation of aggravated harassment is substantially more serious. Because certain activities might elevate a harassment accusation to aggravated harassment, the potential punishment for an offender rises as the conduct gets more serious. A charge of aggravated harassment of another person is serious and should not be treated lightly.

Aggravated harassment is a class A misdemeanor that requires particular actions and/or circumstances to be charged. This is different from conventional harassment charges. One such circumstance calls for the accused to threaten to physically or unlawfully harm the victim’s person or property, or the person or property of a member of the victim’s family or household, via phone, mail, email, text messaging, social media, etc. In this case, the defendant must have been aware that the threat would have caused the victim to reasonably fear suffering bodily or illegal harm.

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Aggravated Harassment In The First Degree

The first-degree charge for this offense has one distinct feature. Because each of the actions covered by the statute must have been committed because of the accuser’s belief or perception regarding the victim’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ancestry, disability, nationality, age, etc. This type of harassment is frequently referred to as a “hate crime.”

Many of these accusations stem from hate crimes committed against a particular group of people and are related to the victim’s race or religion. When a religious facility is harmed and the damage costs more than $50, first-degree aggravated harassment charges are brought.

If someone committed a second-degree aggravated harassment offense after having previously been convicted of aggravated harassment within the last ten years, they might be charged with first-degree aggravated harassment. This kind of crime is not accepted in New York State, and offenders will face legal action. Since racism and religious discrimination go against the inclusive views that the vast majority of people today hold, a conviction can have lasting implications.

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Sentencing For Aggravated Harassment In The First Degree

A person who commits aggravated harassment in the first degree, a class E felony, faces a potential sentence of up to four years in prison.

In determining whether New York state should file harassment charges and what tier that charge should be, the defendant’s intent and what that person knows are crucial considerations for many of the harassment offense tiers.

When charges are filed, an order of protection is typically issued immediately. Many people don’t fully understand the rules set forth by the court for an order of protection, and as a result, they unintentionally break these rules and are then charged with additional crimes.

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Possible Defenses

The facts and circumstances of the occurrence are frequently used to infer what a person knew, believed, or intended at the time of the harassing conduct or acts because the state can’t read someone’s mind to find out their true intentions.

Even if a person honestly didn’t know something crucial, it might not matter. For several of these statutes, it’s sufficient enough that someone would reasonably have known it. If the claim of self-defense is made, it is the responsibility of the prosecution to invalidate it.

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Additional Resources

New York State Unified Court System: Aggravated Harassment – Click the link to view a PDF of Aggravated Harassment in the first degree. It includes actions that qualify as a hate crime as well.

New York State Senate Legislation – Click the link to view Penal Code Section 240.31, Aggravated Harassment in the First Degree in legal terms. This source provides the complete definition and all actions that are considered aggravated harassment in the first degree.

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Garden City Aggravated Harassment In The First Degree Attorney | Nassau County, NY

If you have been arrested for aggravated harassment in the first degree, speak to a qualified criminal defense attorney in Garden City, NY. A conviction for a violent crime will not only result in a loss of freedom, but it will negatively impact your career, reputation, and family relationships as well. To have a skilled defense lawyer advocating on your behalf, contact Stephanie Selloni at Law Office of Stephanie Selloni.

She will utilize her extensive experience in criminal law and resources to represent you in court. If you reside in Nassau County or Suffolk County, contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni at (516) 972-1212 today.

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