Norwalk Harassment Lawyer
Domestic disputes in Norwalk frequently involve allegations of harassment or stalking. These are separate criminal offenses under Connecticut law, and in fact, there are two different crimes considered harassment.
First-degree harassment is a felony while second-degree harassment is a misdemeanor, but both offenses can be punished by incarceration and a significant fine, lengthy restraining / protective orders, plus a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.
Those charged with harassment should contact a Norwalk harassment lawyer to learn how to avoid compounding the offense. Contact a qualified domestic violence attorney that can begin working to preserve evidence and build the best possible defense.
Norwalk Arrests for Harassment in the Second Degree
Second-degree harassment is probably the most common harassment offense and it covers a number of different circumstances. Under Section 53a-183 of the Connecticut code, an individual may be found guilty of second degree harassment if one of the following occurs:
- The individual uses indecent or obscene language to address another person on the telephone
- The individual intentionally communicates by mail, test, social meida, fax, computer or other forms of electronic or written communications in a method likely to cause annoyance or alarm
- The individual makes a phone call with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm in a manner that is likely to have such effect
It should be noted that a phone call placed with the intent to harass need not include any speech to be considered harassment.
Penalties for Second-Degree Harassment
The state classifies harassment in the second degree as a Class C misdemeanor. As such, it is punishable by a term of imprisonment of up to three months and a fine of up to $500. In addition, the court may order an individual convicted under the statute to be examined by a psychiatrist.
Harassment in the First-Degree Arrests
First-degree harassment concerns more specific circumstances than the broad range of situations that could fall under the definition of harassment in the second-degree.
In order for an individual to be arrested in Norwalk for first-degree harassment, the individual must previously have committed a certain Class A, B, C or D felony and:
- Make a threat to kill or physically injure another
- Such threat must be made with the intent to harass, annoy, alarm or terrorize
- The threat must be communicated by phone, mail, computer network or other form of written communication
- The threat must be made in such a way that it is like to cause annoyance or alarm
Harassment in the first degree is classified as a Class D felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years. In addition, a court may impose a fine of up to $5,000 and order a psychiatric evaluation.
Guidance of a Lawyer
In cases involving harassment charges, it is crucial to act quickly to preserve evidence in telephone and electronic communications. Both the felony and misdemeanor versions of this offense require the individual charged to be acting with specific intent in most cases, so collecting evidence regarding intent is an important part of building an effective defense.
When you contact a Norwalk harassment lawyer, your legal team can begin to work right away to help you avoid costly mistakes and work toward the best possible outcome based on the circumstances of your case.