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New York City Criminal Defense AttorneysBeing accused of stalking behavior can have grave consequences, affecting everything from your work life to your reputation at home and in your community. The damage done to your name can be extremely difficult to recover from, especially when these claims are tied to other serious allegations.

Reports from New York State’s Office of the Attorney General illustrate the harsh reality that stalking incidents can and often do lead to other offenses, as stalking behaviors have a tendency to coincide with other abusive crimes. A stalking claim usually indicates that a series of harassment incidents have already occurred. Whether there is some truth to the claims made or these claims are entirely fabricated, if the real story has been altered in any way, chances are other false accusations may be made against you. 

Crimes Related to Stalking

Stalking is generally defined as any persistent or unwanted pursuit of an individual that causes that individual to fear for their safety. It is a series of intrusive behaviors, such as following, watching, or relentlessly contacting the individual in a threatening or intimidating manner. These behaviors often involve monitoring a victim’s devices and technology use, stealing or vandalizing their property, or trespassing at their place of business. If you are being accused of any of these actions, it is important to be aware of other crimes stalking are often associated with, as the claims against you may extend further:

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New York criminal defense attorneysLike all states, New York regulates and controls the possession of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) but each state defines CDS differently and provides different punishment for violation of the applicable CDS laws. Although there are many different substances in a variety of categories or classification of CDS in New York, the most common illegal drugs are marijuana, heroin and cocaine. Possession of any of these drugs is illegal and subject to criminal prosecution, conviction, and possible prison time.

Classifications of CDS in New York

Controlled dangerous substances are classified into five “schedules” beginning with Schedule I, which includes drugs with a high probability of abuse and addiction. From there on down, the CDS are classified with decreasing degree of probability of abuse and addiction. Those substances with the lowest probability of abuse and addiction but still criminal to possess are classified under Schedule V. Schedule V substances include drugs that are recognized to have medical use and generally less sought after for prosecution or punishment.

Criminal Possession of CDS in the Fourth Degree

You can be charged with criminal possession of CDS in the fourth degree if you knowingly and unlawfully possess CDS in New York, including the following:

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New York City Self Defense Lawyer

New York City can be a dangerous place, with hundreds of muggings, robberies, burglaries, and assaults happening every week. It behooves everyone to know the state laws regarding self-defense, particularly self-defense in situations involving deadly weapons

The New York penal code  (NYPL article 35) states that the use of physical force is justified in self-defense, in defense of another person, or in order to prevent theft or criminal damage to property.

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New York City Criminal Defense Attorney

When a disagreement gets out of hand, tempers flare and threats are often made. If the police are convinced that your threatening words or behaviors were sufficient to put the victim in fear for their safety, you could be charged with harassment or menacing. If you continue a pattern of harassing behavior over a period of time, you could be charged with stalking. These are three distinct crimes which are generally charged as misdemeanors but can be elevated to felonies if the behavior is severe enough.

Harassment Definition and Penalties in New York

You commit the crime of harassment when you act intentionally and with no legitimate purpose to cause another person to reasonably fear for their physical safety. Harassment is more of a verbal act than a physical act, and it may be anonymous or not. Harassing acts can include verbal threats to cause physical harm to a person, hang-up calls, or electronic communications. Harassment involves a one-time incident or a few incidents, while stalking involves a repeated pattern of behavior over a period of time. Harassment is generally a class A or B misdemeanor.

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New York City Criminal Defense Law Firm

In the past, the New York district attorneys who prosecute criminal cases have been able to withhold crucial evidence from defendants until just before a trial. This practice has heavily biased the criminal justice system against those accused of a crime. Only two percent of felony convictions happen in a trial; 98 percent of convictions are obtained through plea bargains. In other words, defendants could be forced to negotiate a plea bargain or prepare for trial without seeing all of the state’s evidence against them. This practice has led to New York being third in the nation in wrongful convictions.

Earlier Pretrial Discovery Benefits NYC Criminal Defense

In response to this unfairness, the New York legislature has enacted reforms that will go into effect statewide in January 2020. Prosecutors will now be required to complete pretrial discovery—the sharing of the state’s evidence—much sooner. Specific reforms include:

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