Queens Domestic Violence and Menacing
Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, intimate partner violence or family violence, is violent or threatening behavior by one person against another who are members of the same family or who are in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, cohabitation, or who co-parent children. While there are a number of different crimes that can be related to domestic violence, one of the most common is menacing. Menacing is a crime that involves doing something that puts another person in fear of immediate physical injury. However, no actual physical injury is required to be charged with menacing. While menacing is not one of the less serious criminal offenses, if you are convicted you could still end up spending time behind bars. Thus, if you have been charged with menacing stemming from a domestic disturbance it is important that you immediately contact an experienced Queens Domestic Violence and Menacing Lawyer who understands the law related to domestic violence crimes and who will work closely with you to defend you against all criminal charges.
- New York Criminal Lawyer
- N.Y. Criminal Code and New York Domestic Violence Lawyer
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence Lawyer
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence against a Girlfriend
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence against a Wife
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence against a Child
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Reckless Endangerment
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Strangulation
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Assault
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Assault with a Knife
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Assault with a Gun
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Stalking
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Menacing
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence and Harassment
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Order of Protection
- N.Y. Criminal Code and Queens Domestic Violence Offense Sentencing
Menacing in the third degree is the least severe menacing charge. The prosecutor will charge you will menacing in the third degree if you intentionally place another person in fear of death or immediate serious physical injury or physical injury. It is a Class B misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.15. While an incident that results in physical injury can result in a charge of menacing, physical injury is not required. For example in People v. Betko, 907 N.Y.S.2d 102 (2010), defendant Czeslaw Betko was convicted of menacing in the third degree after holding a knife and saying threatening words to his wife. In this case the defendant did not cause the victim physical harm, but placed his wife in fear of being physically harmed.
Menacing in the second degree is similar to menacing in the third degree, except that it also involves displaying a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument, repeatedly following another person or committing acts of menacing in violation of an Order of Protection. Menacing in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.14
Menacing in the first degree is the most serious menacing offense. The prosecutor will charge you with this crime if you are suspected of committing acts of menacing and you have previously been convicted of menacing in the second degree in the prior 10 years. It is a Class E felony. N.Y. Pen. Law § 120.13Additional criminal charges
Beware that if you are arrested for menacing it is very likely that you will face other criminal charges such as harassment, assault, or stalking. Any additional charges could result in convictions for additional crimes. This would greatly impact the severity of your sentence.Arrest and Arraignment
If the police suspect that you have committed the crime of menacing you will be arrested and taken to the local police precinct. At the local precinct your personal information will be taken and you will be fingerprinted. Because the crime of menacing is classified as either a misdemeanor or a Class E felony, you may be given a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) and permitted to go home. The DAT will have details as to when and where you must appear for your arraignment. If the police do not give you a DAT, then you will be taken to Central Booking where you will remain until your arraignment. Within approximately 24 hours of your arrest you will be arraigned.Consequences of a Menacing Conviction
Because menacing is classified as either a misdemeanor or a low level felony, if you are convicted there is a good possibility that you will not have to spend much if any time in jail or prison. Instead, you may be sentenced to just a probation.
- Class B misdemeanor. The maximum possible sentence is 90 days in jail.
- Class A misdemeanor. The maximum possible sentence is 1 year in jail.
- Class E felony. The maximum possible sentence is 4 years in prison.
Part or all of your sentence may also include probation. For a Class B misdemeanor menacing the probation term will be 1 year, for a Class A misdemeanor menacing conviction the probation term will be 3 years, while for felony menacing the probation term will be 5 years. While probation is preferable to incarceration, probation has many restrictions. There will be several rules that you will be required to follow such as:
- You must not commit new crimes
- You must not associate with people who you know to have criminal records
- You must not go to unlawful or disreputable places
- You must not use or possess controlled substances or drug paraphernalia
- You must submit to drug testing
- You must consent to warrantless searches
- You must submit to home visits by your Probation Officer
- You must regularly report to your Probation Officer
- You must not leave the State of New York without permission
- You must not purchase, own, or possess a gun
- You must not consume alcohol excessively
- You must follow a curfew
- You must have a job or be enrolled in school
Violating any of the terms attached to your probation can result in additional criminal charges, revocation of your probation, and being sent to prison.Financial Consequences
As part of your sentence the judge may order you to pay fines, fees, and restitution. For felony menacing the fine would be up to $5,000, while for a Class B or Class A misdemeanor offense the fine would be up to $500 or $1,000 respectively. Fees include a "mandatory surcharge" of $300 for a felony and $175 for a misdemeanor, as well as a victim assistance fee of $25. N.Y. Pen. Law § 60.35. If your sentence includes probation you will be required to pay a monthly probation supervision fee of $30. The amount of restitution you may be ordered to pay will be based on the losses suffered by the victim such as medical bills. Generally, the maximum amount of restitution is $15,000 for a felony and $10,000 for a misdemeanor, plus a 5% surcharge. If a judge orders you to pay a fine or restitution, payment is part of your sentence. If you fail to pay you may be charged with yet another crime that could mean up to a year in jail.Order of Protection
Domestic violence menacing cases almost always involve the criminal court judge issuing an Order of Protection in favor of the victim. The court will likely issue a temporary Order of Protection that may be a "stay away" Order of Protection, "refrain from" Order of Protection or a combination of both. If an Order of Protection is a stay away order, then you must not have any type of contact with that person. This means that you must:
- Not have any physical contact with the victim, even if the victim is your spouse, girlfriend, or parent of your child
- Stay away from the person's home, school or place of business
- Not call the person
- Not email or fax that person
- Not send that person letters
- Not send the person messages through other people
- Not send the person gifts or flowers
If there is a refrain from Order of Protection, then you are prohibited from doing the menacing behavior of which you are accused. For example, if you are accused of following the victim, then the refrain from Order of Protection will direct you not to follow the victim.
While a criminal court Order of Protection that is issued at the beginning of a criminal case is generally temporary, depending on the outcome of the case, a temporary Order of Protection may become final or permanent-- meaning that it will remain in effect for several years. It the court concludes that there is no basis for the Order of Protection, it will be dismissed. If you believe that there is no basis for the order, you can fight it.
However, if an Order of Protection is in place and you violate it, you risk being charged with criminal contempt, a misdemeanor. As punishment you could be sentenced to jail or probation.Long-Term Consequences
While a conviction for menacing may not result in your spending much if any time in prison, there are long-term consequences that may make several aspects of your life challenging. Being convicted of menacing will result in you having a criminal record that will remain with you for the rest of your life. Here are a few ways that having a criminal record will impact your life:
- Difficulty in finding a job, as many employers will resist hiring someone with a criminal record
- Barred from certain professions such as teaching, nursing and practicing law
- Refused admission to certain colleges
- Ineligible for some scholarships
- Ineligible for certain government benefits
- Barred from serving on a jury
- Barred from owning a gun
Being arrested for domestic violence based on menacing is very serious. Not only are you likely to send up in prison for a number of years, after you serve your prison term you will have a criminal record. As a result, many aspects of your life will be much more difficult. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with domestic violence, menacing, as well as other criminal offenses such as assault, reckless endangerment, strangulation, stalking, 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 domestic violence in the following locations: