Connecticut police and prosecutors are taking online harassment and social media harassment arrests seriously. Digital forensic police labs are sprouting up all over Fairfield County, and police in Greenwich, Weston, Stamford and Darien Connecticut are benefitting from government funding and top-tier training in cell phone and social media forensics. Their goal is simple: to stop online and digital harassment and bullying. Perhaps that’s why the best computer crime criminal lawyers are seeing more harassment arrests originating from texting, emailing and social media messaging applications.
But no matter how fancy and cutting edge the new police technology may be, the time-tested First Amendment just may prevail in getting your Second Degree Harassment arrest dismissed…
Top Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport Court criminal lawyers and attorneys would concede that there are typically 3 scenarios that can get you arrested for Harassment in the Second Degree under CGS 53a-183: (1) using obscene language over the phone; (2) calling someone repeatedly in a frequency and manner that annoys or alarms them; or (3) texting, emailing, faxing, tweeting, or social media / Facebook messaging a person in a manner that will cause them alarm or annoyance. And when it comes to Second Degree Harassment phone call cases, even hang up calls can get you arrested in Connecticut under CGS 53a-183.
Surprisingly, intent is irrelevant. Whether you get arrested in Connecticut for Harassment Second Degree can actually depend on the subjective discretion of the complaining witness. So if your ex or significant other is particularly sensitive—or just pretending to be frightened or scared—then you risk getting arrested.
It’s important to understand the penalties as well as the process for a Connecticut Harassment Second Degree arrest under CGS 53a-183. Many of the best Stamford, Greenwich and Darien Connecticut criminal lawyers know that Harassment Second Degree is a Class C misdemeanor and carries up to 90 days of prison exposure, a $500 fine and probation.
Some police officers may not appreciate the technical nuances of the Connecticut Harassment laws. You see, police just need “probable cause” (a low standard) to make an arrest. Once booked, they hand off your case to Connecticut state prosecutors. It then becomes the prosecutor’s (also called state’s attorney) job to figure out if they can prove your Harassment Second Degree arrest beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecutors in the Stamford, Norwalk, Bridgeport and Danbury Connecticut courts will examine the case more closely and then have the discretion to drop or reduce your Second Degree Harassment arrest if they deem that the accusations do not rise to the level of alarm or annoyance that supports a provable case.
One smart defense strategy commonly employed by the top criminal law firms in Stamford, Norwalk and Westport Connecticut and elsewhere is to immediately file evidence preservation motions with the arraignment court. This way, your Harassment Second Degree accuser will be ordered by the Court to preserve and possibly turn over all text messages, emails and social media messages, which can possibly reveal that you were being baited, that they really weren’t scared, or that your accuser has lied to the police. This ultimately can clear your name, and help your top Connecticut Harassment domestic violence lawyer attorney persuade the state’s attorney to drop your charges.
The team of experienced criminal lawyers and attorneys at Mark Sherman Law have over 25+ years of collective experience in fighting Harassment Second Degree arrests in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan and throughout the State of Connecticut. Our firm’s familiarity with digital communications and social media has kept up with the rapid pace of this ever-changing technology. We are always a step ahead and continue to utilize cutting edge defense strategies to help our clients fight unfounded and contrived Harassment Second Degree arrests. So check out our Avvo.com-certified client reviews, and call us today. Our firm’s lawyers are standing by 24/7 to assist you.