Ridgefield Second-Degree Harassment Lawyer
Harassment Second Degree arrests seem to be on the rise in Connecticut domestic violence cases, thanks in part to the popularity of texting, sexting and social media. Connecticut law sets forth two different degrees of harassment, one of which is a felony and the other a misdemeanor. A conviction for either offense can result in jail time, a substantial fine, and a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation.
The most common harassment charge involves harassment in the second degree under CGS 53a-183. Ridgefield second-degree harassment lawyers know that Connecticut law describes three different scenarios that constitute this crime, and because these definitions are quite broad, they encompass a wide range of circumstances. For example, uttering curse words on the phone or calling another and hanging up without speaking, could both be actions considered to violate the statute. Speak with a qualified harassment attorney about how to proceed with your case towards your desired outcome.
What is Harassment in the Second Degree?
Section 53a-183 of the Connecticut criminal law states that an individual can get arrested for second-degree harassment for any of the following behaviors:
- Using indecent or obscene language on the telephone
- Communicating by mail, fax, computer or other forms of written communications in a method likely to cause annoyance or alarm with the intent to harass
- Making a phone call with the intent to harass, annoy or alarm in a means likely to cause such annoyance or alarm
The statute specifically notes that a phone call made with intent to harass does not actually need to include any conversation in order to constitute harassment. It may be critical for the individual to reach out to a Ridgefield second-degree harassment lawyer before proceeding with trial.
First-Degree Harassment Arrests in Ridgefield
Harassment in the first degree is an offense that encompasses a much narrower range of circumstances which are described in Section 53a-182b of the Connecticut criminal code. The individual charged must have a previous conviction for a serious felony to be charged with Ridgefield second-degree harassment.
If such an individual makes a threat to physically injure or kill another, the individual will be guilty of first-degree harassment if:
- The threat is made with the intent to terrorize, alarm, annoy or harass another
- The threat is communicated by a form of writing (including electronic communications) or by phone
- The threat is carried out in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm
Jail Penalties for Harassment Related Offenses
Harassment in the second degree is classified as a Class C misdemeanor in Connecticut. Those convicted of such offenses may be sentenced to up to three months imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.
Connecticut classifies first-degree harassment as a Class D felony. Individuals convicted of violating this statute will be sentenced to term of imprisonment of at least one year and as much as five years. A fine of up to $5,000 may also be imposed. The court may order an individual convicted under either statute to be examined by a psychiatrist.
Cases involving allegations of harassment can be complicated and emotional. It is important to work with an attorney who understands the circumstances that often surround this offense and who know how to craft the best defense based on your situation. When you contact a Ridgefield second-degree harassment lawyer who can start working towards a beneficial outcome for you.