Menacing In The Third-Degree: NY Penal Law § 120.15

by ECL Writer
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Menacing is a crime that entails doing something to make another person worry that they will suffer immediate harm or die. In other words, you threaten to damage someone physically rather than actually doing it. The New York Penal Code lists four threatening charges. Threatening in the third degree is the least serious. You could be charged with threatening in the third degree under New York Penal Code 120.15 if you do something that reasonably causes another person to fear physical harm or death. It is a misdemeanor of class B.

Eg: On July Fourth, two young men are enjoying beers in a parking lot. The two begin to argue as the evening goes on. The tiff turns into an argument. With his fists clenched, one man approaches the other and makes many threats to beat the other man to death. The man who threatened the other man, however, did not actually touch him. The individual who was threatening might be charged with third-degree menacing. He made the other man feel as though his physical safety was in immediate danger by threatening him while simultaneously approaching him in a threatening manner.

Menacing In The Third-Degree Sentence

Because third-degree threatening is a class B misdemeanor, a conviction could result in a prison sentence of up to three months and a fine of up to $500. Additionally, the court can decide to sentence you to a year of probation rather than jail time.


The absence of a plausible threat of immediate physical harm or death is a defense to the third-degree threatening felony. The victim may feel endangered if they are highly sensitive and quickly alarmed, yet this emotion might not be justified.

Related Offenses

  1. Menacing in the first degree: New York Penal Code § 120.13
  2. Menacing in the third degree: New York Penal Code § 120.15
  3. Menacing a police officer or a peace officer: New York Penal Code § 120.18

New York Penal Code § 120.15: Menacing In The Third Degree

When someone willfully puts or tries to put another person in dread of physical harm, death, or impending significant physical harm, they have committed threatening in the third degree.

Hiring A New York Lawyer For Menacing In The Third Degree Case

Retaining a New York lawyer for a menacing in third-degree case is crucial to navigating the legal complexities and protecting your rights. In New York, this offense involves threats and intimidation, which can lead to serious consequences if not handled properly. A skilled attorney will have a deep understanding of the state’s criminal laws, defenses, and potential penalties associated with the charge. They can build a robust defense strategy, negotiate with prosecutors, and represent your interests in court. By hiring a New York lawyer, you increase your chances of minimizing the impact of the charges and achieving the best possible outcome in your menacing case.

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