New Canaan Harassment Lawyer
The same technology that makes it so easy to communicate these days also makes it easier to get in trouble with the law. When people argue and fight over text message, emails or social media, angry words that would quickly be forgotten if spoken verbally become memorialized and can be read over and over.
Those words can be saved and used as evidence. Because of this, arrests in New Canaan, Connecticut for harassment have become more common. As a crime punishable by jail time and hefty fines, harassment arrests in New Canaan needs to be taken seriously and the help of a skilled defense attorney is essential.
When you consult with any of the best New Canaan harassment lawyers, you take the first step to getting a quick resolution if you are facing charges for criminal harassment.
Connecticut Harassment Arrests
Connecticut statutes set forth two degrees of harassment, first degree, which is treated as a felony, and second degree, which is classified as a misdemeanor.
Connecticut General Statutes describes three types of conduct that can get you arrested in New Canaan Connecticut for harassment in the second degree:
- Using “indecent or obscene” language when communicating with another party via the telephone
- Issuing written communications with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm
- Placing a telephone call with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm
As New Canaan harassment lawyers know, written communications that violate the statute can be made in a variety of formats, from handwritten notes to electronic communications such as emails, text messages, and social media posts.
It is worth noting that if a court determines that telephone calls were made with the intent to harass, it does not matter what the parties said or even if they spoke at all. Simply dialing and hanging up can constitute harassment under Connecticut law.
As a Class C misdemeanor, harassment in the second degree is punishable by up to 90 days’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.
First Degree Harassment
Felony harassment is a more serious offense involving communications by a party previously convicted of a felony. Those communications can constitute harassment in the first degree if they:
- Include a threat to injure or kill someone and
- Are made with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize, and
- Are made by phone or in written format (either electronic or print)
First-degree harassment is classified as a Class D felony. Those convicted of a violation face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both making it imperative that a New Canaan harassment attorney is consulted immediately.
Restraining or Protective Orders
Often harassment charges stem from domestic violence disputes and arrests in New Canaan between individuals who have lived together or are related. Fearful that any violence suggested or threatened in texts, social media or elsewhere may become reality, law enforcement officials take allegations of harassment quite seriously.
One party may seek and obtain a civil restraining order or a criminal protective order, which restricts contact between the parties in the dispute.
Sometimes it can be difficult to understand exactly what communication is allowed under the terms of an order, and if that order is violated, the violation is treated as a separate crime for Violation of Criminal Protective Order, a felony arrest in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Working with a New Canaan Harassment Attorney
An experienced New Canaan harassment lawyer can analyze the facts of your case and determine how to present the facts to the court in the most favorable light. A skilled harassment attorney will also provide guidance as to how to comply with protective orders and recommend the steps to take to work toward the best possible result.