Criminal defense attorneys often argue that it is far too easy for people to accuse others of harassment, and it’s true. The defendant does not have to physically injure the victim in order to be charged with harassment, so these cases often turn into a “he said, she said” argument.
If you have been charged with harassment, don’t give up hope. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you protect your rights and fight back against these charges.
What is Harassment?
Harassment can occur when you stalk, make physical contact with, cyberbully, or continuously call someone. This is a broad definition that can include many different acts such as:
- Repeatedly calling a person, regardless of whether a conversation ever occurs
- Making repeated contact at inconvenient hours that affects the victim’s ability to use or enjoy his home or private property
- Following a person in a public place
- Repeatedly insulting or taunting someone
- Threatening bodily injury or property damage by phone, text message, computer network, or any other type of electronic medium
- Making obscene comments or gestures towards someone in a public place
- Making repeated contact with a person using a phone or computer in an attempt to threaten or harass him or her
- Hitting, shoving, or kicking someone
It’s important to note that the defendant’s intent will play a huge role in determining whether he is charged and convicted of harassment. The law states that in order to commit harassment, you must have the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the victim. If the prosecutor is unable to prove this intent, you will not be convicted.
The Penalties For Harassment Are Serious
Harassment is charged as a misdemeanor in Colorado, but the penalties are still serious if you are convicted. Most harassment cases are class 3 misdemeanors, which means you would face a maximum of six months in jail and a fine of up to $750. But, if the defendant was motivated to harass someone because of the victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin, the penalties are more severe. This crime is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor, and you may face up to 18 months in jail along with a fine of up to $5,000.
Skilled Attorneys Can Defend You Against Harassment Charges
It is very easy for someone to accuse you of harassment, but fortunately there are a number of defenses that can be used to fight these charges. A harassment attorney may defend you by saying that you did not have the intent to annoy or harass anyone, and therefore should not be charged with this crime. If you are being accused of making obscene comments or gestures, your attorney may be able to prove that there was nothing obscene or offensive about your behavior. Or an attorney may argue that your communication with the victim was protected by the constitution.
Speak to a harassment attorney at Reisch Law Firm at once to determine how you can fight these charges. You can schedule a free consultation with our team today by calling 303-291-0555.