Many harassment cases are classified as summary offense charges. Being charged with harassment in Brampton may not draw jail time but they are still troublesome because they will give you a record. If you are charged with harassment, you are facing emotion-filled allegations that may cost you jail time or a record. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you fully understand the charges against you and give you a strong defense.
What happens if you get charged with harassment
If the prosecution can prove these charges against you, you can be found guilty of harassment:
* Violent contact such as hitting or kicking — or the threat of violent contact.
* Following a person through a public place such as a shopping mall.
* Engaging in repeated actions that serve no legitimate purpose.
* Communicating to another person in a lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene way. These communications can be anything from emails to text messages, phone calls, voicemail, faxes, online posts or conventional letters.
* Repeated anonymous communications.
* Repeated communications at extremely inconvenient hours.
* Communicating in any other annoying or obscene manner.
A person must commit an annoying or offensive act to another person to be convicted of harassment. Furthermore, most importantly you must also have an intent to harass the victim. The State must prove that the defendant had a conscious object to engage in conduct that is intended to harass the victim. In the absence of proof beyond a reasonable doubt on this element, Being charged with harassment in Brampton must be found not guilty.
For example, if a potential employer runs a record check on you and discovers you have a harassment record, you may find yourself losing out on a good job. Even if the charges are minor, you need an attorney to help you avoid having a record.
Other charges are classified as misdemeanors, and you can be in danger of going to jail.
What To Do If You Are Charged With Harassment
The definition of harassment is extremely broad, making it even more important that you have an attorney to help you sort through allegations that you or a family member may have broken a law.
As with most criminal charges, you should not talk to the police or prosecutors without your attorney by your side. What you say can be taken out of context and used against you. If the police question you, tell them you want a lawyer and politely refuse to answer their questions.
How A Lawyer Will Help
It is possible that a person with a grudge has concocted a story or that someone has made a mistake resulting in unfair claims against you. You need an attorney who will work to have any false charges against you dismissed.
Harassment charges are commonly filed in Court. There are thousands of harassment cases filed each year. These type of cases range from bar fights, neighbor wars, and people who just don’t like each other and have taken it to the next level.
A person is guilty of a petty disorderly person’s offense of harassment if he:
a. Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively court language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or harm;
b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offense touching, or threatens to do so; or
c. Engages in any other curse of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or serious annoy such other person.
A communication under subsection a. may be deemed to have been made either at the place where I originated or at the place where it was received.
Harassment becomes an indictable offense of the fourth degree if the harassment occurs while the defendant is on parole or probation for an indictable criminal offense. In summary, harassment cases are always fact sensitive.
When considering whether a communication(s) constitutes harassment, the court must analyze such factors such as the age, gender, occupation, and the relationship between the parties. It is important to emphasize that the courts have consistently held that thoughtless or insensitive words by itself do not constitute harassment. In summary, the line to determine whether conduct is insensitive and thoughtless or harassment is a very thin. There are no bright line rules on what constitutes harassment conduct. Each harassment case harassment turns on their own individual facts and circumstances.
Thankfully, courts have provided some helpful legal doctrines on this area of law. The first doctrine to emphasize is that intent is a required element of harassment statute. Therefore, it must be proven the defendant made the communication(s) for the purpose of harassing the victim. When a person is charged with harassment based on annoying or alarming conduct a key factual distinction must be made. The court must determine whether or not the conduct was just insensitive or whether it is in fact harassment. In the majority of the cases, this legal distinction is always extremely difficult to make.