Milford Harassment Lawyer
A Milford harassment lawyer can work to help defend your name and your rights if you are facing allegations of harassment. Representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney provides an ally and an advisor who can protect your rights and fight to achieve a positive result.
What Constitutes Harassment in the Second Degree?
The language of Connecticut’s second-degree harassment statute, Connecticut General Statutes §53a-183, makes it very easy to violate. Using “indecent or obscene” language to talk to someone on the phone is considered harassment in the second degree, a Class C misdemeanor.
Someone convicted of this offense can be sentenced to three months in jail and a $500 fine. However, a Milford harassment lawyer can advocate for alternative penalties or the use of a pretrial diversionary program depending on the circumstances of your case.
Two other types of actions also constitute second-degree harassment. If someone intentionally sends any type of written communication “in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm,” that can be treated as harassment in the second degree. Moreover, making a phone call in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm can also be criminal harassment, even if there is no conversation.
What Is an Intent to Harass?
For most criminal harassment offenses, both felonies and misdemeanors, an individual must act with a deliberate intent in order to be found guilty. Specifically, under both C.G.S. §53a-182b and 53a-183, actions must be taken “with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize another person” to constitute a violation. (The exception is obscenity in phone conversations which requires no particular intent for a violation.)
Accordingly, a harassment lawyer in Milford can defend against harassment charges by showing that statements were made without the intent to harass, or even no intent at all. For instance, an attorney can argue that phone calls were made in error or written messages were taken out of context.
What Defines Harassment in the First Degree?
The circumstances that constitute harassment in the first degree under C.G.S. § 53a-182b are much more specific than those that can be treated as second-degree harassment. In addition to acting with intent to harass, terrorize, annoy or alarm someone, the person acting must:
- Make a threat to kill or physically injure someone;
- Communicate the threat via telephone, electronic means, or any type of writing;
- Communicate in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm; and
- Have a prior conviction for a felony offense.
A Milford harassment lawyer can argue that a threat was not communicated in a manner that can be considered first-degree harassment.
Harassment in the first degree is a Class D felony. Those convicted can be sentenced to five years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.
Consult a Milford Harassment Attorney
Because it is so easy to violate the harassment statutes, allegations of harassment must be taken seriously. By creating a solid defense strategy, it may be possible to avoid a conviction and all the damage it can do to your record.
The first step is to consult an experienced Milford harassment lawyer who can review the circumstances and explain your options for fighting the charges. For a consultation, call Mark Sherman Law today.