Have you been charged with misdemeanor or felony Criminal Harassment or making annoying phone calls?
Put our Brockton criminal defense law firms’ experience to work for you.
Our Brockton criminal defense law attorneys are available to assist clients accused of criminal harassment or stalking charges throughout all of Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area including South Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Somerville, Quincy, New Bedford, Taunton, Attleboro, Lowell, Woburn, Medford, Waltham, Wareham, Lynn, Lawrence, Wrentham, Dedham, Salem, Fall River, Brookline, Chelsea, Worcester, Framingham, Everett, Revere, Dorchester and Roxbury and all smaller cities and rural areas in Massachusetts.
The criminal harassment statute was enacted to protect people from stalking behaviors, and to protect victims of harassment before that behavior could escalate into more dangerous conduct. The Massachusetts Legislature enacted Chapter 265, Section 43A which criminalizes harassment.
The statute regarding criminal harassment reads as follows:
- “Whoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, shall be guilty of the crime of criminal harassment ….”
- In order to get a conviction for criminal harassment the prosecution needs to prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant committed not less than three separate incidents of willful and malicious conduct specifically directed at the victim;
- The victim was seriously alarmed by the defendant’s conduct;
- A reasonable person would have suffered substantial emotional distress as a result if the defendant’s conduct.”
Proving Charges Of Criminal Harassment
The prosecution has to show the defendant engaged in a pattern of conduct. Not only does the prosecution have to show that the defendant engaged in three incidents of harassment but that all three were directed at the alleged victim and that the alleged victim knew that each of three incidents was directed at him or her. So if a defendant made loud disparaging remarks about the alleged victim to another person believing that the alleged victim was not around to hear them then this wouldn’t be considered conduct specifically directed at the victim.
In order for conduct to be specifically directed at a victim the conduct has to be addressed to the victim in the form of a face to face exchange. So a phone call, email, letter, text message, or Facebook comment that was sent to the alleged victim would constitute conduct specifically directed at the victim. However, an email sent to someone else who then took it upon themselves to forward the email to the victim would not constitute direct conduct.
Criminal Penalties For Conviction On Criminal Harassment Charges
|1st Offense||Misdemeanor||Up to 2 1/2 years in jail.|
|2nd Offense||Felony||Up to 10 years in state prison.|
|Making Annoying Phone Calls||Misdemeanor||Maximum 3 months|
Call An Experienced Boston Area Defense Lawyer For Aggressive Defense Against Misdemeanor or Felony Charges — Free Consultation
If you have been accused of criminal harassment, you need an aggressive attorney that will build a strong defense on your behalf. As a former prosecutor, attorney Gerald J. Noonan knows how prosecutors work and and the legal system from both the prosecutorial and criminal defense sides.
No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away. Call us to schedule a free no-obligation case review and consultation at (508) 584-6955 and you will have taken your first step to find out how best to confront this important matter. You can also click here to use our Free Case Evaluation Form.
Our Brockton criminal defense law attorneys are available to assist clients accused of criminal harassment or stalking charges throughout all of Massachusetts, including but not limited to Plymouth County including Brockton, Plymouth, Bridgewater, Marshfield, Hingham, Duxbury, Scituate, Hanover, Wareham, Abington, Rockland, Whitman, Hanson, Holbrook, Kingston, Middleborough; Norfolk County including Quincy, Stoughton, Dedham, Weymouth, Braintree, Avon, Holbrook, Randolph, Canton, Sharon, Brookline, Franklin; Bristol County including New Bedford, Fall River, Taunton, Attleboro, Dartmouth, Westport, Mansfield, Easton, Raynham, Lakeville, Norton; Cape Cod, Falmouth, Barnstable.