Weston Harassment Lawyer
When you have been accused of harassment, you could face serious consequences such as damage to your reputation, monetary fines, or even incarceration. A Weston harassment lawyer can help you effectively protect your rights and navigate the criminal justice system.
Understanding Criminal Harassment Charges
The Connecticut Penal Code defines two specific types of harassment charges: Harassment in the Second Degree and Harassment in the First Degree. While each of these is a serious legal matter that could carry life-changing consequences, one of these offenses has the potential for significantly harsher penalties.
Harassment in the Second Degree
Harassment in the Second Degree is the lesser of the two offenses. It is considered a Class C misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and $500 in fines as stated by Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-183.
Because the statute is intentionally broad, there are several ways a person could commit Harassment in the Second Degree. Actions can be verbal, written, physical, or visual. Unfortunately, this wide scope also lends to the possibility of police overcharging when no crime has actually been committed. Some of the acts that could constitute Harassment include:
- Obscene language over the phone, in person, online, or in the mail;
- Repeated phone calls;
- Damaging property;
- Physical gestures or threats;
- Unnecessary touching; and/or
- Frequently following someone.
A knowledgeable Weston attorney can help individuals accused of performing these actions with the intent to Harass build a viable defense.
Harassment in the First Degree
Harassment in the First Degree is the more serious of the two charges. Governed by C.G.S. § 53a-182b, this offense is treated as a Class D felony. A conviction for Harassment in the First Degree could lead to as much as five years in prison and $5,000 in fines.
The difference between First- and Second-Degree Harassment depends on the nature of the alleged crime as well as the accused’s criminal history. Harassment in the First Degree is typically assigned when a person harasses another while also threatening to kill or physically injure that person or has a prior conviction for a violent offense.
Harassment Can Be a Domestic Violence Offense in Connecticut
Often, the parties involved in an alleged Harassment incident are family or household members. When that is the case, an act of Harassment can qualify as a domestic violence offense. A family or household member could include a variety of relationships, such as current or former spouses, current or former significant others, in-laws, co-parents, roommates, and other relatives.
In these situations, the required elements for proving Harassment are the same. However, there are additional consequences that can come with a Harassment case when it is treated as a domestic violence offense. A Weston harassment attorney can build a strong defense strategy that aims to avoid a conviction under these circumstances.
Talk To a Weston Harassment Attorney Today
You have the right to seek legal counsel prior to and following an arrest for Harassment. Whether your charge is treated as a domestic violence offense or not, the consequences of a conviction can be severe.
Let a Weston harassment lawyer review your case and develop a winning defense strategy. Call Mark Sherman Law right away to get started, and click here to visit our Avvo profile to read what our past clients have to say about working with us.