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Understanding the Crime of Menacing in New York


Menacing is a serious crime that can have serious consequences for those accused. This is especially true in New York, where there are strict laws governing this offense and where these laws are strictly enforced. The crime of menacing is codified under Article 120 of the New York Penal Law, and it generally involves engaging in behavior that instills fear in others. In this article, we discuss the types of menacing offenses in New York and the potential penalties of each type.

Types of Menacing Offenses in New York

Simply put, menacing involves placing another person in fear of physical injury or death. In other words, it entails threatening to harm someone. The threat can either be in the form of words or actions. You don’t have to actually hurt someone to be charged with menacing. In New York, there are five types of menacing charges, as discussed below;

Menacing in the Third Degree

This is the least serious out of all the menacing offenses in New York. Menacing in the third degree is considered a Class B misdemeanor. This crime occurs when, by physical menace, you intentionally place or try to place another person in fear of death or imminent physical or severe physical injury. Menacing in the third degree is punishable by up to ninety days in prison or one-year probation. You may also be asked to pay a fine of up to $500.

Menacing in the Second Degree

This offense is more serious than menacing in the third degree. First, you commit this crime when a weapon is involved. Second, it is menacing in the second degree if you follow someone or engage in the same type of behavior more than once. Lastly, you commit the crime of menacing in the second degree if you commit third-degree menacing in violation of an order of protection. Menacing in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by up to 365 days in jail or three years in probation. You may also be required to pay a fine of up to $1,000.

Menacing in the First Degree

This is the most serious type of menacing offense in New York. You commit menacing in the first degree when you commit menacing in the second degree despite previously being convicted of the same crime or menacing a police officer or peace officer within the last decade. This offense is considered a Class E felony and is punishable by up to four years in jail or five years on probation. You could also be fined up to $5,000.

Menacing a Peace Officer or Police Officer

This offense occurs when you put a peace officer or police officer in reasonable fear of serious injury or death by brandishing a weapon knowing fully well that the victim is a peace officer or police officer. This crime is a Class D violent felony. It is punishable by two to seven years in prison.

Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged with menacing in New York, it is crucial that you speak to a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Our NYC criminal attorney, Mark I. Cohen, can help you fight your charges. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.


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