Aggravated Harassment is an allegation made by another person or entity, which generally takes place during some form of electronic communication, in which a threatening remark or comment is alleged to have been made. This charge is only applicable from conversations made through the use of electronic devices such as telephone, email, instant messages, texts, etc.
These charges generally result in the immediate issuance of an order of protection. Many people fail to understand the conditions imposed by the court and thereafter inadvertently violate these terms and find themselves charged with additional crimes, including contempt of court. There are many defenses to these charges, and a competent and qualified attorney can defend your rights. If you or a loved one are subject to being prosecuted under these proceedings, you must protect your rights. It is important to note that New York State does not have an expungement statute, which means that these convictions will stay with you for life. You must defend your interests before a court of law and hold the system to its burden of proof, which is beyond any reasonable doubt. Moreover, if the argument of self-defense is raised, it is the people's obligation to disprove the claim of self-defense. These defenses must be interposed early on in the matter, and the law is unforgiving if your counsel fails to defend you properly.
Immediately an order of protection may be issued against the defendant. This can be done with the complainant appearing before the court alone, without a statement from the defendant or his attorney. You will be required to surrender all weapons including guns, knives, swords, etc. to the local police. This is an incredibly intrusive process. The penalty for this crime is up to 1 year in jail on a misdemeanor, 3 years probation, and up to five years under an order of protection. As a felony, it may include 3 years state prison time, 5 years probation, and 7 years under an order of protection.
Generally, you will be served a summons to appear in court, and an order of protection at the same time. In some cases, the police may contact you and wish to discuss the matter over the phone or in person their sole purpose is to get a confession from the defendant. Never speak with the police.
Each allegation of a threatening or harassing communication is a separate charge and can double the penalties. Communications after the receipt can bring enhanced charges.
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As stated prior, these charges usually result in the immediate issuance of an order of protection. Many people fail to understand the conditions imposed by the court and thereafter inadvertently violate these terms and find themselves charged with additional crimes, including contempt of court. There are many defenses to these types of charges, and a competent and qualified attorney can defend your rights. If you or a loved one are subject to being prosecuted under these types of proceedings, you must protect your interests. It is important to note that New York State does not have an expungement statute. Convictions will stay with you for life. You must defend your interests before a court of law and hold the people to their burden of proof which is beyond any reasonable doubt. Moreover, if self-defense is raised, it is the people's obligation to disprove the claim of self-defense. These defenses must be interposed early on in the matter, and the law is unforgiving if your counsel fails to defend you properly.
Communications are subjective what one person perceives as a threat or harassing may not be intended that way by the other party. This is why getting an attorney is imperative, and it is crucial to never speak to the police.
Consultations are free, and you have nothing to lose by making an appointment and coming in and speaking with Mr. Young or a member of his very qualified staff on a matter of this type. Below are links to the N.Y.S. Penal Laws for your review of any crimes of this nature charged against your or a loved one.
Aggravated harassment charges are routinely based on the statements of an adversary, former lover, spouse, co-workers or neighbor. However, many simple conversations discussions or arguments are routinely elevated to a criminal charge. The allegation then becomes that you were. Intentionally threatening, harassing, or annoying another individual. This can be elevated if the complainant or person making the charge against you claims it was based upon his or her gender, religion, age, disability, or sexual orientation. This can result in you being charged with a crime even possibly a misdemeanor. You should never speak with anyone other than your lawyer if you believe or suspect someone is trying to lodge a criminal complaint of aggravated harassment against you. You must protect your rights and your liberty. Speaking with law enforcement will only result in your being arrested. LET YOUR LAWYER DO ALL THE TALKING. Here at Young & Young, LLP we have handled thousands of these cases with excellent results for our clients. Richard W. Young is a retired NYPD Sergeant and knows the tactics used by police to incriminate you. The police will only record statements which will only hurt you and routinely omit statements which clear you. We with our expert experience in aggravated harassment can provide you with a solid defense, ensuring that you are not unjustly charged with a crime.
Law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges in New York have overused these charges. Due to the subjective nature of human communications, several sections have been deemed unconstitutional by Federal Courts. Even though these charges of Aggravated Harassment are no longer available to police, they continue to bring these matters against many people.
We have represented many individuals, who are charged with these crimes that have no merit and should not have been prosecuted. Without an attorney who understands the law, people will be convicted unlawfully regardless of legal basis. NY State does not remove these laws from their Penal Code, and the police still rely upon them. We will ensure that you are not prosecuted on a federally unconstitutional law.
If you have been convicted of aggravated harassment in the first or second degree, you stand to face a number of legal penalties. These include jail, probation, community service, fines and most important mandatory submission of your DNA to the State of New York. To protect yourself from harsh criminal prosecution, contact our law office as soon as you suspect you may have a problem. IF CONTACTED BY THE POLICE DO NOT TALK WITH THEM. PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS LET US SPEAK WITH THEM AND RESOLVE THE MATTER.
Aggravated harassment in the first degree is often considered a hate crime. You will be charged with aggravated harassment if any of the following statements are true:
You intentionally harassed, annoyed, threatened, or alarmed another person because of his/her race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
You intentionally caused over $50 worth of damage to a property or premises used primarily for religious purposes, or due to discriminatory purposes of any type.
You committed aggravated harassment of the second degree, but you have previously been convicted of aggravated harassment of the first degree within the last ten years.
You will be charged with aggravated harassment in the second degree if any of the following statements are true:
You intentionally harassed, annoyed, threatened, or alarmed another person by means of telephone, telegraph, mail, or email.
You made a telephone call to the victim—regardless of whether you actually spoke to him/her—without having a legitimate reason or purpose for communicating.
You intentionally shoved, struck, kicked, or made any form of physical contact with the victim because of his/her race, religion, gender, color, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or sexual orientation. It is also considered aggravated harassment of the second degree to threaten to harm another person for these reasons as well.
You have been convicted of harassment of the first degree two or more times.