Senate Passes Bill to Increase Penalties for Stalking

Stephen M. Saland

February 13, 2012

The New York State Senate today passed a bill that would increase the penalties for stalking (S. 924A). An estimated 3.4 million people are victims of stalking in the United States each year.

This legislation would change stalking in the fourth degree to a class A misdemeanor from a class B misdemeanor; third degree stalking will become a class E felony from a class A misdemeanor; second degree stalking will become a class D felony from a class E felony; stalking in the first degree will become a class C felony from a class D felony.

Stalking describes specific repeated, unwanted harassing or threatening behavior toward another person; the stalker can be a stranger, but statistics show that most stalkers know their victims and can be a partner, an ex-partner, a family member, or a co-worker.

The bill has been sent to the Assembly.