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CRIMINAL DEFENSE • DISCIPLINARY INVESTIGATIONS & HEARINGS

What are the different degrees of stalking under New York law?

Under New York law, there are four degrees of stalking. Stalking in the fourth degree is where someone intentionally engages in behavior that they knows will create fear of harm to the victim or a member of the victim’s immediate family. It also includes behavior that the offender knows will cause substantial harm to the mental or emotional state of the victim or a member of the victim’s family, or produces a reasonable fear that the victim’s employment or business is jeopardized.

Stalking in the third degree is the same as the fourth degree when the crime is perpetrated against three or more victims. It could also be characterized by a reasonable fear on the part of the victim of physical harm or serious bodily injury. If the crime is committed within ten years of a prior conviction, it qualifies as stalking in the third degree.

Stalking in the second degree is the same as the third degree when the offender uses a weapon to commit the crime. It is also defined by a second conviction within five years or where the victim is 14 years of age or under and the perpetrator is 21 years of age or older.

Stalking in the first degree is the same as the third degree or second degree with intentional or reckless physical harm to the victim.

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