New Haven Harassment Lawyer
If convicted, criminal harassment can have lasting repercussions on a person’s life, especially if the crime is a form of domestic violence. However, representation from a capable New Haven harassment lawyer could be vital to contesting these allegations effectively and minimizing the negative consequences it could have on your future. Contact our office to schedule a consultation with a domestic violence attorney today.
How Are Harassment Charges Defined by State Law?
There are two forms or “degrees” of harassment defined in the Connecticut General Statutes, each of which applies to different situations. The most basic variant of this charge is harassment in the second degree.
According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-183, second-degree harassment occurs when someone addresses another person with obscene or indecent language over the phone, intentionally causes annoyance or alarm to another person through physical or electronic written communication, or deliberately attempts to frighten or disturb someone via text or call.
Second-degree harassment is a class C misdemeanor, meaning the maximum penalties that a person convicted of this offense could face are a three-month jail term and a $500 fine. In some cases, a court might order a mandatory psychiatric examination for this type of harassment. However, persistent offenders who are charged with this offense again after a prior second-degree harassment conviction—or any other charge listed in C.G.S. §53a-40d—may be subject to more severe penalties.
Additionally, anyone previously convicted of a felony offense specified in C.G.S. §53a-182b who threatens to physically injure or kill another person with intent to terrorize that individual has committed first-degree harassment, a class D felony. A conviction under this statute could carry a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, and a mandatory mental health evaluation. Facing harassment charges can be scary, but a hardworking New Haven attorney will ensure that you have the best chance of a favorable outcome.
Is Harassment Considered Domestic Violence in New Haven?
Any person who commits second- or first-degree harassment against a household or family member may face a “domestic violence” charge. In this context, a “household or family member” may be a current or former spouse or intimate partner, co-parent of a child, relative by marriage or blood, or anyone cohabitating in the same residence with the defendant.
A domestic violence offense in Connecticut does not allow a court to impose additional criminal penalties on the offender if they are convicted or if they enter a guilty plea. However, these charges may substantially increase the pace at which that criminal case will proceed. For example, a person accused of domestic violence will generally be required to appear for arraignment on the next business day after their arrest. Additionally, ensuing hearings and trial proceedings for domestic violence charges may be scheduled sooner than usual.
Furthermore, a person accused of domestic violence harassment may be subject to a protective order while their criminal case is ongoing. If the court accepts a protective order, an individual facing charges cannot engage in further harassment, be in close physical proximity to the person they allegedly harassed, or contact the protected party. Support from a skilled local lawyer can be key to limiting the scope of domestic harassment repercussions.
Consider Working with a New Haven Harassment Attorney
No matter how they come about, accusations of harassment that result in criminal charges are serious matters that can have life-altering consequences and warrant a comprehensive defense strategy. Click here to read our over 300 certified client reviews on Avvo.com, and contact one of our New Haven harassment lawyers at Mark Sherman Law to discuss your options and start working on your case.