Greenwich Harassment LawyerTechnology has made it easier than ever for individuals to communicate—by sending text messages, emailing, creating and sharing social media posts and making phone calls from portable devices that are carried with people everywhere. Unfortunately, the increase in communication also brings an increase in the opportunities for misunderstanding and electronic harassment.
A message or call can be interpreted as threatening or harassing, and it can be preserved and used in evidence, and even taken out of context. It is not surprising, then, that criminal harassment arrests in Connecticut are on the rise.
Violations of harassment criminal laws are taken seriously and carry serious penalties. If you have been arrested for harassment under the second degree, then it is important to consult with a top Greenwich harassment lawyer to assist you with getting the best possible resolution of your case. An experienced attorney can help build your defense.
Harassment Arrests & Penalties
There are two types of criminal harassment under Connecticut law, classified as first and second degree. Several scenarios constitute a violation of the Connecticut Penal Code which defines second-degree harassment:
- When an individual uses “indecent or obscene” language to communicate with another person over the telephone
- When an individual sends a written communication either in print or electronically with the intention of harassing, annoying, or alarming someone
- When an individual places a telephone call with the intention of harassing, annoying, or alarming someone else
Harassment attorneys in Greenwich, Connecticut know, written communications can be something as basic as a note scribbled on a piece of paper or as complex as a social media message, text, fax, email, or other message transmitted via computer. Moreover, if a phone call is made to harass, annoy or alarm, that call can constitute harassment even if there is no actual conversation. Thus “hang up” calls can violate the harassment statute.
Harassment in the second degree is classified as a class C misdemeanor. As such, it can be punished by up to three months in jail or a fine of up to $500 or both. The court may also order a psychiatric evaluation.
In certain instances, a first-degree harassment arrest is treated as a felony under Connecticut law. This offense occurs when the following factors are present:
- An individual threatens to kill or injure another
- That threat is communicated by telephone, mail, computer network, telegraph or any other form of written communication
- The threat is made with the intent to “harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize” another
- The threat is communicated in a manner “likely to cause annoyance or alarm”
- The individual making the threat has been convicted of a felony
As a skilled attorney can attest, a first-degree harassment arrest in Greenwich, Connecticut is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. As with harassment in the second degree, a conviction of violating this section may result in the court ordering a psychiatric evaluation.
Contact a Greenwich Harassment Attorney
Whether a charge involves first-degree harassment or the lesser second-degree harassment, the intent of the parties is usually a key element of the case. This is a factual matter for the judge or jury to determine based on the evidence presented.
Accordingly, if you have been charged or arrested, you need a Greenwich harassment lawyer to help ensure that the evidence is presented fully and fairly to obtain the best possible outcome. Contact our firm today to begin reviewing the details of your case.