What Is The Crime Of Menacing In NYC, NY?

Menacing is a class A misdemeanor that covers one of three distinct acts.

According to New York Penal Law § 120.14, a person commits menacing in the second degree when:

  • They threaten another person with a deadly weapon, dangerous instrument, or anything that appears to be a pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, or other firearm.
  • They repeatedly follow another person or repeatedly threaten or stalk them in some way meant to place them in reasonable fear of physical injury, serious injury, or death.
  • They violate a protection order they knew of because they were present in court when the order was issued.

A charge of menacing in the second degree is more common than a charge of menacing in the first or third degree. Menacing in the third degree happens when a person, by virtue of physical menace, places or attempts to place another person in fear of death, imminent serious physical injury, or physical injury. In this case, only physical intimidation is necessary.

You can be charged with menacing in the first degree if you’ve been previously convicted of the crime of menacing in the second degree or if you’ve menaced a police or peace officer within the past ten years. Menacing in the first degree is a class E felony.

The crime of menacing is very similar to the crimes of harassment and stalking. In fact, at times, police officers will charge the defendant with menacing and harassment, menacing and assault, or menacing and stalking.

Often we can defend these charges by demonstrating that no reasonable person would incur a threat of immediate physical injury or death after witnessing the defendant’s actions. We may also be able to prove that your actions were not intentional. Given the right evidence, we may also be able to prove the alleged incident never occurred. When that’s not possible, it may be possible to plea down to a lesser charge.

You should take a menacing charge very seriously. Like any criminal charge, it can be life-altering. It is imperative that you get a lawyer on your side and start building out your case immediately.

We have extensive experience defending these charges and will work diligently to bring your case to its best possible outcome. Contact our office to get started today.

See also:

Understanding the Classes of New York Felony Charges 

Understanding NYC Assault Laws

When Can You Be Accused of Resisting Arrest in NYC? 

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About The Author

Jeffery Greco

Jeffery Greco is an attorney providing legal services covering Criminal Defense and Criminal Defense: White Collar and Criminal Defense: DUI / DWI. Jeffery Greco, who practices law in New York, New York, was selected to Super Lawyers for 2020 - 2023. This peer designation is awarded only to a select number of accomplished attorneys in each state. The Super Lawyers selection process takes into account peer recognition, professional achievement in legal practice, and other cogent factors. Prior to becoming an attorney, he studied at South Texas College of Law Houston. He graduated in 2004. After passing the bar exam, he was admitted to legal practice in 2005.

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