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NY Penal Law § 120.55: Stalking in the second degree

Over the last few decades since stalking was first added to New York’s criminal code, apprehending and prosecuting stalkers has been a priority of law enforcement. Law enforcement views any act of stalking as a serious criminal infraction because even acts that some might consider innocuous such as calling someone several times a day, often lead to serious criminal acts such as assault, kidnapping, and sexual assault. Stalking is a crime that involves repeatedly harassing someone in ways that alarm and frighten that person. Under New York Penal Code § 120.55 stalking in the second degree involves engaging in conduct that causes the victim to fear that you will physically harm, kidnap, commit a sex crime, or commit a sex offense, and in doing so you also display a weapon. Or you do so after being convicted of a predicate sex offense. Or you stalk at least 10 different people on 10 separate occasions.


A man calls his ex-girlfriend 5-10 times per day for a week. On a couple of occasions he showed up at her apartment, demanded that she come with him and displayed a gun. This man probably could be prosecuted for stalking in the second degree because his conduct put his ex-girlfriend in reasonable fear for life, and he displayed a gun.

Related Offenses
  1. Kidnapping in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 135.20
  2. Harassment in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 240.25
  3. Aggravated harassment in the second degree: New York Penal Code § 240.30

Because stalking in the second degree is a class E felony, if you are convicted the maximum sentence is 4 years in state prison and a fine of up to $5,000. The actual length of your prison sentence will depend on factors such as your prior criminal record. Furthermore, the court will likely issue an order of protection in favor of the victim, making it a crime for you to contact the victim.

New York Penal Code § 120.55: Stalking in the second degree

A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when he or she:

  1. Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree as defined in subdivision three of § 120.50 of this article and in the course of and in furtherance of the commission of such offense: (i) displays, or possesses and threatens the use of, a firearm, pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, electronic dart gun, electronic stun gun, cane sword, billy, blackjack, bludgeon, plastic knuckles, metal knuckles, chuka stick, sand bag, sandclub, slingshot, slungshot, shirken, "Kung Fu Star", dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto, imitation pistol,dangerous instrument, deadly instrument or deadly weapon; or (ii) displays what appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm; or

  2. Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree in violation of subdivision three of § 120.50 of this article against any person, and has previously been convicted, within the preceding five years, of a specified predicate crime as defined in subdivision five of § 120.40 of this article, and the victim of such specified predicate crime is the victim, or an immediate family member of the victim, of the present offense; or

  3. Commits the crime of stalking in the fourth degree and has previously been convicted of stalking in the third degree as defined in subdivision four of § 120.50 of this article against any person; or

  4. Being twenty-one years of age or older, repeatedly follows a person under the age of fourteen or engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts over a period of time intentionally placing or attempting to place such person who is under the age of fourteen in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious physical injury or death; or

  5. Commits the crime of stalking in the third degree, as defined in subdivision three of § 120.50 of this article, against ten or more persons, in ten or more separate transactions, for which the actor has not been previously convicted.

The Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help

If you are arrested and charged with stalking in the second degree, you should take the situation very seriously and immediately contact an attorney with experience. There is a long list of undesirable consequences that you will have to face if you are convicted of stalking. Such consequences will damage your family relationships as well as your professional future. 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 assault in the first degree, assault in the second degree, menacing, reckless endangerment, stalking, rape, and child endangerment. Contact us at 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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