New York Penal Code § 120.14: Menacing in the second degree

Menacing is a crime that involves doing something that puts another person in fear of immediate physical injury. No such physical injury is required to be charged with menacing. The statute only requires that you threaten another person with immediate physical injury or death. If your actions include displaying a weapon, then you will be charged with menacing in the second degree as defined in New York Penal Code § 120.14. To be prosecuted for menacing in the second degree the prosecutor must show that you:

  1. Intentionally placed another person in reasonable fear of physical injury by displaying a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, or
  2. You repeatedly follow someone or engage in a course of conduct that intentionally places another person in reasonable fear of physical injury or death, or
  3. You committed the crime of menacing in the third degree in violation of an order of protection.
Example

Two women get into a shouting match over drugs. One woman claimed that the other woman stole marijuana from her. Suddenly one woman pulled out a gun and pointed it at the other woman. She threatens to use it, but never does. Instead she puts the gun away and walks away. The woman who pulled out the gun could be charged with menacing in the second degree because she displayed a deadly weapon, putting the other woman in reasonable fear of physical injury.

Related offenses
  1. Menacing in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 120.13
  2. Menacing in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 120.15
  3. Menacing a police officer or a peace officer: New York Penal Code § 120.18
  4. Criminal contempt in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 215.51
Defenses

To defend a charge of menacing in the second degree you must show that you did not display a deadly weapon or a dangerous instrument. Not every gun or knife is necessarily "deadly" or "dangerous." For example, a small utility knife might is arguably not dangerous as it could not cause a serious physical injury or death.

Sentence

Because menacing in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor if convicted the maximum prison sentence is up to a year in county jail. However, it is possible that the judge may not sentence you to jail and instead sentence you to probation. In addition, the judge may require that you pay a fine of up to $1,000.

New York Penal Code § 120.14: Menacing in the second degree

A person is guilty of menacing in the second degree when:

  1. He or she intentionally places or attempts to place another person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death by displaying a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument or what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm; or

  2. He or she repeatedly follows a person or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts over a period of time intentionally placing or attempting to place another person in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or

  3. He or she commits the crime of menacing in the third degree in violation of that part of a duly served order of protection, or such order which the defendant has actual knowledge of because he or she was present in court when such order was issued, pursuant to article eight of the family court act, § 530.12 of the criminal procedure law, or an order of protection issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in another state, territorial or tribal jurisdiction, which directed the respondent or defendant to stay away from the person or persons on whose behalf the order was issued.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

You may be inclined to think that being arrested for a misdemeanor offense is not serious. However, the consequences of a misdemeanor conviction can have a substantial affect on your future. You may end up spending a year in jail-- away from your family and friends. Once you return you will have to face life with having a criminal record. However, there are defenses to a charge of menacing in the second degree that may cause the charge to be dropped or reduced. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with misdemeanors and felonies such as aAssault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, menacing, reckless endangerment, stalking, rape, and child endangerment. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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