What Do You Need to Know About Fighting Harassment Charges?
Maybe you didn’t think it was such a big deal. After all, it was your neighbor who initiated problems between you. However, any type of conviction can eventually hurt you. Harassment charges are no exception. It’s extremely important to secure experienced legal counsel when it comes to your day in court.
Katherine Jacoby was shocked when she received the notification that her upstairs neighbor had filed harassment charges against her. After all, it was John who was causing all the trouble. He insisted on playing loud music at all hours of the night. John’s footsteps upstairs sounded like a herd of elephants ready to crash through the ceiling.
So what Katherine called him to complain about the noise? Admittedly, she pounded a broomstick to the ceiling even when it was quiet above her. Katherine even contacted John’s parents and cursed at them about his behavior.
In Katherine’s mind, it all seemed justified. She couldn’t wait to get into court and tell the judge her side of the story. Harassment? Surely, there was a mistake. It was John causing all the trouble. Katherine couldn’t wait for the truth to come out!
The Truth about Harassment Charges
Many people find themselves in predicaments that resemble Katherine’s dilemma. It’s easy to empathize with her situation. However, there are laws regarding harassment. Here’s what you should know:
Harassment as a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense: There are two levels of harassment. One is considered a petty disorderly persons offense and includes the following:
- Is somehow involved in communicating with another anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours
- Uses bad language with the attempt of annoying someone or causing alarm
- Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or
- Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person
- Uses electronic means such as text messaging or the computer to harass
Harassment as a Crime of the Fourth Degree: This level of harassment is considered more serious and includes the following:
- The act was committed with with a purpose to intimidate an individual or group of individuals because of race, color, religion, gender, handicap, sexual orientation or ethnicity.
- The person charged with harassment is in jail, or on probation or parole
We’ve provided you with the basics about harassment so you understand what’s important in the eyes of the court. Intent is major. And, intention of the actions must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
We told you the story of the charges against Katherine Jacoby. Was her intent to harass John? Or, was she merely trying to find a means to enjoy peace and quiet in her own apartment? It will be up to legal counsel to convince the court of the later.
Faced with harassment charges? Don’t ignore them or let them wreck your life. At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have significant experience in representing clients faced with these types of complaints. Contact us to see how we can provide you with legal advice.