How To Know If Your Behavior Falls Under Criminal Harassment

23 September 2022
 Categories: , Blog


Interacting with an individual in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to be alarmed is a crime. These activities can be considered criminal harassment and you might end up being charged and face criminal penalties. However, if you believe that you were not harassing an individual, you will want to get in contact with a criminal defense lawyer and inquire about the best actions you could possibly take to beat your charges.

Unwanted Communication

Harassment can come in various forms. It can include communications through email, text messages, phone calls, and through social media. However, it can be difficult for the prosecutor to prove that these actions constitute harassment.

The Harassment Must be Repeated More Than Once

To be guilty of criminal harassment, an individual usually needs to knowingly engage in behavior that would be considered frightening or intimidating on multiple occasions. A single exchange is often not enough to count as criminal harassment, but an ongoing pattern of behavior that alarmed the target could be considered to be criminal harassment. 

You Must Be Malicious

The prosecutor will need to convince the jury that these actions were carried out in a manner that is malicious and the activities should also be considered willful. They will need to prove that you intended to target the victim. 

In addition to communications that are intended to intimidate or harass, direct physical confrontations can also be considered a form of harassment. For example, unwanted touching or shoving can be considered harassment. Following an individual or invading their privacy is a form of harassment. Making obscene gestures is also considered a form of harassment.

The Law Struggles to Catch Up with New Technology

There might be other actions that may be considered a form of harassment that involve newer technologies and the law has not caught up to these new technologies. For example, placing a GPS tracking device in one of the victim's belongings can be considered a form of harassment.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are convicted of criminal harassment, you might face jail time and fines as a result. To avoid these penalties, you will want to speak with a criminal defense lawyer about everything that occurred that led to the criminal harassment charge.

Your lawyer will then work with you to build a case for why your charges should be reduced or dismissed because there is not enough evidence or because there are mitigating factors.