Facing Harassment Charges in New York?

Seeking Immediate Counsel from a State Defense Lawyer is Imperative

The earlier you receive expert counsel, the more likely your matter will end favorably. If you’re facing prosecution, contact us immediately.

Harassment Charges in New York

A standard harassment charge will usually be covered by or include Penal Law Section 240.20, which is known as disorderly conduct or a violation. A violation or disorderly conduct is an extremely common way to resolve a matter without a criminal conviction or a permanent record. Ultimately, a 240.20 disposition only remains on an individual’s record for one or two years, and even in that time, the person has not been convicted of a crime. Following the one to two year window, the matter is sealed.

Harassment in the Second Degree (Penal Law § 240.26): An extremely common offense, you can be charged pursuant to this statute in ways that would perhaps seem far from criminal or illegal. According to § 240.26, you are guilty this offense if you have the intent to harass, annoy or alarm some person and you either make physical contact with them, follow a person around in public areas, or engage in a course of conduct of annoyance or alarm to that person without any legitimate reason to do so. Notably, a § 240.26 conviction remains on your permanent record and can be consequential when facing future background checks or subsequent prosecutions.

Aggravated Harassment (Penal Law § 240.30): Frequently, individuals find themselves charged pursuant to this statute, which can manifest itself in relatively innocent and noncriminal ways., following repeated communications made to another person, whether by text, email, or telephone. Generally, the government will set out to prove that you communicated with another person in a manner that caused annoyance or alarm, or contacted a person with no purpose of legitimate communication. You may also be charged under this statute if you contacted a person because of their race, sexual orientation, gender, or other cultural beliefs.

When charged with any form of harassment, a family or criminal court will issue an order of protection and instruct you to refrain from contacting and coming into physical contact with the protected party during the remainder of the case. Failure to abide by this order of protection can result in an additional criminal contempt or violation of an order of protection charge.

Possible Sentencing & Penalties in New York

Harassment charges are frequently added to other common charges within New York State, from assault, sexual assault, menacing, stalking, and criminal contempt. However, harassment charges may also stand on their own and can carry jail time if a conviction occurs and only an experienced assault lawyer can help you.

A harassment or aggravated harassment charge may still carry significant sentences. Notably, some forms of harassment can be bumped up to misdemeanors, which carry jail time, while even a Penal Law 240.26 harassment will remain on one’s permanent record.  Oftentimes, convictions to these charges will come with an order of protection as well – meaning if you are, in the future, alleged to have violated the order of protection which is still in effect, a new criminal contempt or violation of an order of protection arrest may take place. 

How We Fight Harassment Charges in New York

An effective and strategic way to fight harassment charges will sometimes include counter-investigations and cross-complaint arrests, whereby we are able to have a case opened up against the individual who, at first, claimed that they were the one harassed.

On the other hand, in defending against such charges, a creative defense lawyer will first look to understand the totality of the relationship between the two parties to better understand if a certain harassment claim is based out of revenge for a failed relationship or workplace misunderstanding. Sometimes, filing a cease and desist letter is a powerful tool to create a paper trail before a harassment claim may be lodged.

Your Defense Begins Now

If you are being prosecuted for harassment, hire a former prosecutor and preeminent defense attorney who has dealt with these charges on both sides of the courtroom. Being accused of these offenses can have a lasting impact. The steps your defense attorney takes in the face of these accusations, by way of investigation and creative advocacy, will both increase your chances of successfully walking away from these accusations and shape the rest of your life.

The sooner you put your case in the hands of an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the more likely your matter will end favorably. Contact The Law Offices of Jason Goldman today.

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