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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23573
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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My wife placed a dead rat that she found in our driveway on

Customer Question

HI.
JA: Hello. What seems to be the problem?
Customer: My wife placed a dead rat that she found in our driveway on our neighbors mailbox.
JA: In what state did this occur?
Customer: New York, Otsego county.My wife put a dead rat that she found in our driveway on top of our next door neighbors mailbox. what kind of fine can we expect?
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: NO
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes we've had an adversarial relationship with this man , I was in the hospital and my wife thought that he had put the rat in our driveway.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Hi,

I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I research and compose a reply for you.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Did anyone see your wife do this? Were the police involved? Have the aut

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 month ago.

Committing an offensive act of this sort with no legitimate purpose could be charged as disorderly conduct. See section 240.20 of the New York Penal Law. Subsection (7) is the one that would best fit her actions.

Disorderly conduct is a violation, meaning it is the criminal court equivalent of a traffic ticket and something less than a crime. Crimes in NYS are misdemeanors and felonies. A Dis Con carries a maximum possible penalty of 15 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $250. At the end of the statutory period, a Dis Con seals, which means it won't show up on a criminal background check. Before the one-year statutory period, it would appear on her criminal history but as a violation.

It could also be charged as harassment in the second degree. See section 240.26 of the penal code. Again, this would be a violation and not a crime and the above information would apply to it as well.

This doesn't mean that your wife should admit to having done this or immediately plead guilty and end up with a conviction for a criminal violation and pay a fine. If she has a lawyer, she might be able to get the matter dismissed altogether or fight the case. That may be worth doing because even though these violations do get sealed, there are times when she would still have to disclose the conviction on applications and it's always better not to have to plead guilty to a criminal offense if it can be avoided.