Long Island Harassment Lawyer Protecting the Rights of the Accused
Everyone has certain rights in the state of New York. For example, people have the right to privacy and the right to safety. If you are accused of violating one of these rights, authorities could charge you with harassment.
Harassment is a serious criminal offense that carries harsh penalties. It is possible to fight these charges, but you shouldn’t do it alone. If you’ve been charged with harassment, contact criminal defense attorney Gianni Karmily as soon as possible to discuss your legal options.
What is Harassment?
There are two degrees of harassment in New York: first-degree and second-degree harassment. Harassment in the second degree is the least serious of the two offenses. This offense occurs when someone with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm engages in one of these behaviors:
- Attempts, threatens, or makes physical contact with the victim, or
- Follows the victim in a public place, or
- Repeatedly acting in a way that serves no purpose but to seriously annoy or alarm the victim.
This offense is not a misdemeanor or felony, but rather a violation.
First-degree harassment occurs when someone intentionally and repeatedly harasses a victim by either:
- Following the victim in a public place, or
- Repeatedly acting in a way that makes the victim fear for their physical safety.
This crime is a class B misdemeanor.
What is Aggravated Harassment in New York?
In severe cases, the crime can be charged as aggravated harassment rather than harassment. This crime can either be charged in the first or second degree. Second-degree aggravated harassment, which is a class A misdemeanor, occurs when someone engages in certain behaviors with the intent to harass the victim. Examples of conduct that could be considered second-degree aggravated harassment include:
- Making threats to harm the victim, their family, or their property
- Making phone calls with the intent to harass or threaten the victim
- Attempts, threatens, or makes physical contact with the victim because of the victim’s race, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or color.
- Making physical contact with the victim or the victim’s family with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm, and causing injury as a result of this contact.
You can also face second-degree aggravated harassment charges if you have been charged with harassment in the past. If you have a first-degree harassment conviction on your record within the last 10 years, you can face second-degree aggravated harassment charges if you are accused of committing first-degree harassment again.
First-degree aggravated harassment occurs when someone intentionally harasses another person because of their race, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or color. This crime, which is a class E felony, may involve:
- Damaging property that is used for religious purposes, or
- Vandalizing property with swastikas or other symbols of racism, or
- Lighting a cross on fire
Second-degree aggravated harassment charges can be increased to first-degree aggravated harassment charges under certain circumstances for repeat offenders.
What Are the Penalties For A Harassment Conviction?
Second-degree harassment is a violation, so the maximum penalty is 15 days in jail. If you are convicted of first-degree harassment, you could face up to 90 days in jail or one year of probation.
The penalties for aggravated harassment are far more serious. Second-degree aggravated harassment carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail or a three-year probation sentence. If you are convicted of first-degree aggravated harassment, you could face up to four years in prison as well as $5,000 in fines.
How Can A Harassment Lawyer Help?
There are a number of ways to fight harassment or aggravated harassment charges. Let attorney Gianni Karmily review your case to determine the best approach to take to fight your charges. Gianni knows how a conviction can impact your life—especially if it is for a felony crime—which is why he works tirelessly to help his clients avoid this outcome.
Don’t let a harassment or aggravated harassment charge haunt you for the rest of your life. Let Gianni Karmily aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in your case.
Discuss Your Case With Our Harassment Attorney in Nassau County
Have you been charged with harassment or aggravated harassment? Turn to Gianni Karmily, a skilled harassment attorney at Law Firm of Gianni Karmily, PLLC. Gianni is proud to be the voice of clients who have been accused of harassment. Throughout your case, he will stand by your side, protecting your rights and fighting for your freedom. To schedule a free consultation regarding your case, call 516-630-3405 or fill out the form on this website.