Have you been charged with harassment? Call us now. We can help.
If you face harassment accusations, the first thing you need to do is find an effective criminal defense lawyer. That’s where we come in.
At the Law Offices of Norman Mattar, our certified attorneys are prepared for action. Call us now. We can help.
New York state law defines harassment as an activity intended to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm someone. There’s first-degree harassment, and there’s second-degree harassment. There’s also first- and second-degree aggravated harassment.
- Harassment in the first degree
First-degree harassment is when someone intentionally and repeatedly harasses another person. An example of this would be making someone afraid by following him or her in public. Such conduct can bring a penalty of three months in prison and one year of probation. This is a Class B misdemeanor.
- Harassment in the second degree
A person is guilty of harassment in the second degree when they intend to harass, annoy, or alarm another person. As provided in New York Penal Law §240.26, harassment in the second degree may involve:
- Striking, shoving, kicking, or otherwise subjecting someone to physical contact, or attempting to do so
- Following a person in or about a public place
- Engaging in a course of conduct or repeatedly committing acts that alarm or seriously annoy another person and that serve no legitimate purpose
Harassment in the second degree is classified as a violation, which means the maximum penalty a court can impose for a conviction is 15 days in jail. This is considered a violation.
- Aggravated harassment in the first degree
Aggravated harassment in the first degree occurs when a person intends to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm another person because of a belief regarding a person’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, religion religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation.
Here are some examples:
- Damaging a premises primarily used for religious purposes
- Etching, painting, or drawing a swastika – the emblem of Nazi Germany – on a building or other property
- Setting fire to a Catholic cross in public view
- Etching, painting, or drawing a noose – a common symbol of racism and intimidation — on a building or other property
These are Class E felonies.
- Aggravated harassment in the second degree
Aggravated harassment in the second degree covers a range of actions intended to harass another person, including assault and unwanted contact or anonymous communications. This is a Class A misdemeanor and can carry a one-year jail sentence and $1,000 fine.
Defenses for harassment charges
Harassment is a serious offense. If you are accused of harassment, reach out to an experienced harassment lawyer to help you fight for your rights and work to prevent unfounded allegations from damaging your future.
Attorney Norman Mattar will build the strongest possible defense based on the facts of your case. Even if the accuser has a strong case, it may be possible to negotiate a favorable resolution. If you are charged with harassment, we will do everything possible to get you out of a difficult situation and make it clear to the court or prosecutor what really happened.
Contact a Buffalo harassment attorney
If you’d like to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable defense attorneys, be sure to contact our team. We’ve handled an array of harassment cases in the past, helping our clients to receive the most favorable outcomes.