Understanding a Harassment Charge
If you have been charged with harassment, you may be confused about the nature of the charges against you. You need an experienced Phoenix criminal attorney at you side to explain the offense, the potential penalties, and to develop an intelligent strategy to deal with the charges. Often, the people involved in harassment cases know one another. This can complicate the investigation and lead to a confusing and emotional battle. Words can be taken out of context and stories can be twisted.
You will need an experienced lawyer to ensure that your side of the story is conveyed correctly. At the Law Offices of David A. Black, we can help. Among other things, we will explain the nature of a harassment charge.
What is Definition of Harassment in Arizona?
Harassment is defined in A.R.S. 13-2921. The law provides that if, intending to harass or knowing that you are harassing another person, you:
- Communicate with another person with harassing messages (including verbal, electronic or written communications).
- Continue to follow someone in a public place, without a legitimate purpose, after you are asked to stop.
- Repeatedly commit acts of harassment.
- Surveil a person without a legitimate purpose.
- Intentionally make more than one false report to the police, to a credit agency or to a social service agency.
- Interfere with delivery of a public utility to another person (examples include cutting phone lines, or having utilities turned off).
Hi. This is David Black here in my video blog. Today is Tuesday, May 22, 2012.
Today we are going to talk about orders of protection and injunctions against harassment. So, what the ordinary process…
Harassment is a class 1 misdemeanor in most cases. However, where the harassment is directed at a public officer or employee, in some situations this could be charged as a class 5 felony. A Class 1 misdemeanor carries a penalty of $2,500 in fines and up to one year in jail. A Class 5 felony carries a sentence between 9 months and 2 years in prison. When a harassment accusation is accompanied by an existing order of protection, the charge becomes even more serious.
What is Aggravated Harassment?
In order to obtain a conviction for aggravated harassment, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you committed harassment (as defined in A.R.S. 13-2921), and that the harassment violates an existing order of protection or injunction, or you have a prior conviction for domestic violence under A.R.S. 13-3601, which includes a wide range of offenses. Harassment that violates an order or injunction is a class 6 felony. For a second violation of an order it’s a class 5 felony. Harassment with a prior domestic violence conviction is a class 5 felony. If the prior conviction involved the same victim as in the current case, it is a class 2 felony. Given the consequences if you are convicted, your best move is to hire the right attorney for your defense.
Phoenix Harassment Attorney
If you are facing harassment charges, you could be looking at imprisonment and hefty fines. You may even face the permanent stigma of being a convicted felon. In addition, cases involving harassment can lead to broken relationships and embarrassment. Accusations can even divide families.
At the Law Offices of David A. Black, we have the experience to help. Call us today for a free consultation.