Charged with Accosting Or Annoying A Person Of The Opposite Sex?
Our Boston Area, Brockton Misdemeanor Defense Lawyers can help.
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter Section 53 makes it a crime to accost or annoy a person of the opposite sex by way of offensive language or disorderly conduct. In order for a defendant to be convicted of accosting and or annoying a person of the opposite sex the prosecutor must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant knowingly engaged in disorderly language or conduct;
- Any reasonable person would consider the disorderly conduct or language offensive;
- The defendant intended to direct his or her disorderly conduct or language at the victim;
- The alleged victim was aware of the defendant’s disorderly conduct or language;
- The alleged victim of the opposite sex.
In order to prove the first element (that the defendant knowingly engaged in disorderly conduct) the prosecution must show that the defendant, on two or more separate occasions, engaged in conduct or language that was disorderly. Disorderly conduct consists of the following:
- Engaging in fighting, violent or tumultuous behavior; or
- Creating a hazardous condition; or
- Creating a physically offensive condition that amounts to an invasion of personal privacy or is threatening. In order to be threatening there has to be (1) an explicit threat, (2) some act or conduct that leads the alleged victim to believe they may be in harm or (3) a showing that the defendant made an aggressive gesture or movement towards the alleged victim while making a comment.
In Commonwealth v. Cahill, the court determined that any act or language is “offensive when it is repugnant or offensive to contemporary standards of decency and causes real displeasure, anger, or resentment.”
Punishment And Penalties For A Conviction Of Disorderly Conduct
- 1st Offense: fine of not more than $150
- 2nd Offense: imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 6 months, or by a fine of not more than $200, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
Defending Misdemeanors Charges in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, misdemeanors are typically non-violent criminal charges but some misdemeanor offenses may become felony offenses if a weapon is used. Other examples of misdemeanor charges that Massachusetts misdemeanor lawyers defend include trespassing, disorderly conduct, domestic violence, reckless driving, hit-and-run and shoplifting. Contact our law firm in Brockton, Massachusetts for a free initial consultation. We can help to protect your legal rights immediately. We utilize our numerous years of criminal defense experience to fight for the best possible outcome in your criminal case.
Brockton MA Disorderly Conduct, Accosting Or Annoying A Person Of The Opposite Sex, Misdemeanor Defense Attorneys
The criminal defense lawyers of The Noonan Defense Firm take our clients’ criminal charges very seriously. Attorney Noonan was an Assistant District Attorney for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for many years. He has criminal trial experience on both sides of a criminal case, which is invaluable when you are looking for an attorney to represent you.
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.