Darien Harassment Lawyer

Harassment is a crime that has become much more prevalent in recent years, due in most part to advances in communications technology. Arguments exchanged via text messages, social media and email can escalate to the point where the communications may be interpreted as violating Connecticut’s harassment and threatening laws. Those communications can be preserved as evidence.

As experienced defense lawyers in Darien, Connecticut know, harassment is treated as a serious crime, even a felony in some cases. So, if you have been charged with harassment, it is essential to seek advice and counsel from a Darien harassment lawyer. Your attorney will provide guidance as to how to proceed and will serve as your advocate in working toward achieving the best possible outcome.

Defining Harassment

Connecticut Code describes conduct that will be considered criminal harassment in Darien. Three basic types of communications can constitute harassment generally, and the addition of certain aggravating circumstances will escalate the offense to felony level. The first type of communication that triggers a harassment violation is the use of indecent or obscene language on the phone. The other two types of communications include the “intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person.”

If a party places a phone call with that type of intent, the call can be considered harassment regardless of whether either of the parties speaks. This means that if one individual calls another and hangs up the phone without saying anything, the call can still constitute harassment if the call was made with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm. Also, if a party makes a written communication, either electronic or on paper, with that intent to harass, annoy or alarm, and the message is conveyed in a way that is likely to harass or annoy, that written communication would constitute harassment. These types of communications would be considered second-degree harassment.

Additional factors would make these situations first-degree harassment. If the communication is made by a convicted felon and contains a threat to kill or injure another and that communication is made a way that is likely to cause alarm or annoyance, then the crime becomes harassment in the first degree and that individual accused should consult with a Darien harassment lawyer.

Communications Qualifying as Harassment

The Connecticut penal code defines two types of harassment. Harassment in the second degree is treated as a misdemeanor, while first-degree harassment is considered a felony.

Both varieties concern communications either made via telephone or written format including:

  • Text messages
  • Email
  • “Snail” mail
  • Fax
  • Social media posts or messages
  • Any other form of written or electronic communication

Penalties

The most commonly charged version, second-degree harassment, is treated as a Class C misdemeanor under Connecticut law. This type of crime is punishable by up to three months in prison or a fine of up to $500 or both making it important that a Darien harassment attorney is consulted as soon as possible.

Harassment in the first degree is classified as a Class D felony. Those convicted of violating this statute face a potential prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000.

The court may also order an individual convicted of a violation to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Consulting with a Darien Harassment Attorney

The intent of the parties involved in the communications is of critical importance in a harassment case, and the court will attempt to ascertain that intent based on the circumstances as they are presented. Therefore, it is crucial that the facts be investigated fully and presented properly.

A Darien harassment lawyer will provide guidance throughout the process and work to ensure that the facts are represented in the best light to achieve the most favorable outcome possible.

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