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NY Penal Law § 120.13: Menacing in the first degree

June 27, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

NY Penal Law § 120.13: Menacing in the first degree

Menacing is an offense that involves doing something that puts another person in fear of being subjected to immediate physical injury. No such physical injury is necessary to be charged with menacing.  In the New York Penal Code, there are four menacing offenses. These are menacing in the first, second, and third degrees, and also menacing a police officer or a peace officer. You could be prosecuted for menacing in the first degree under New York Penal Code § 120.13 if you commit the crime of menacing in the second degree and, within the previous ten years, you have already been convicted under New York Penal Code § 120.14 of the crime of menacing in the second degree or the crime of menacing a police officer or peace officer under New York Penal Code § 120.18.

 

For Example

The defendant held a large knife up to a woman’s chest and threatened to harm her. The man did not touch the woman with the knife, nor did he physically injure her  in any way. The knife that he used to threaten the woman could be classified as a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon.  Therefore, the man could get prosecuted for menacing in the first degree if he had previously been convicted of menacing in the second degree within 10 years of that date. If he had never been convicted of menacing before, the charge the man would face would be menacing in the second degree.

 

Offenses that are Related

Menacing a police officer or a peace officer: New York Penal Code § 120.18

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

Menacing in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 120.15

 

Possible Defenses

To get convicted on a charge of menacing in the first degree, the prosecutor needs to demonstrate that you have threatened someone with a dangerous instrument or deadly weapon. Not every knife can be considered a dangerous instrument or a deadly weapon. For instance, a common kitchen butter knife would probably not be considered a dangerous instrument or a deadly weapon for the purposes of this statute.

 

Sentence

The crime of menacing in the first degree is a class E felony. The maximum possible sentence for this crime is 4 years in prison. Your sentence could also include a 5 year probation term and a fine of up to $5,000.

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