Norwalk Harassment Lawyer
If you were recently charged with criminal harassment in Connecticut, you may have a lot of questions about what to expect next and what consequences you could face if you are convicted. With a skilled Norwalk harassment lawyer by your side, you could stand a much better chance of effectively enforcing your legal rights and pursuing a positive resolution to your case. Reach out to a skilled attorney to learn about what may be possible in your case.
How Does State Law Define Harassment as a Criminal Offense?
There are two state statutes that address two different degrees of harassment a Norwalk resident may be charged with. The less severe of the two—harassment of the second degree—is defined by Connecticut General Statutes §53a-183 as any of the following actions:
- Transmitting a written message through computer networks, physical mail, or any other form of written communication with the express intent of annoying or alarming another person
- Intentionally attempting to annoy or alarm someone else over the phone
- Using indecent or obscene language to address someone else over the phone
The more severe variant of this offense—harassment in the first degree—can occur through any of the same means as second-degree harassment. In addition, though, a person must have knowingly threatened to kill or cause physical harm to their target and have previously been convicted of a separate violent felony offense to be prosecuted for first-degree harassment under C.G.S. §53a-182b.
It is important to note as well that a person may be convicted of criminal harassment even if their intended target never actually reads or receives the harassing message sent to them.
What Are The Criminal Penalties Associated with Harassment?
If someone is convicted of any form of harassment in Connecticut, the prosecuting court has the authority to order their evaluation by one or more psychiatrists. Other than that, though, first-degree harassment and second-degree harassment differ significantly in terms of the consequences that may come of a conviction.
Second-degree harassment is classified as a class C misdemeanor in Connecticut, meaning that the maximum penalties a convicted defendant could face are a three-month jail sentence and a $500 fine. First-degree harassment is a class D felony punishable by a prison sentence between one and five years in length, as well as a fine of up to $5,000.
It is much more common for harassment to be prosecuted as a misdemeanor offense in Connecticut than as a felony offense. No matter what level of charge they are facing, though, any defendant facing criminal prosecution for harassment in Norwalk should seek help from a skilled defense lawyer if they want to minimize their chances of facing serious penalties.
Speak with a Norwalk Harassment Attorney About Legal Options
While most harassment charges are misdemeanor offenses, certain circumstances could leave you facing the significant prison time, fines, and loss of civil privileges that come with conviction for a felony offense. If you are struggling to decide what to do about your charges, consider retaining a Norwalk harassment lawyer at Mark Sherman Law to take the lead in your legal defense. Read reviews from our prior clients on avvo.com, and call us today at 203-358-4700.