Being accused of criminal harassment is dangerous as it is a punishable offense. Nobody expects to have to defend themselves against a charge of criminal harassment. The charge could be either civil or criminal depending on the violation. A felony conviction in a criminal case might result in a jail sentence.
A person who intimidates, threatens, stalks, or otherwise causes another person to feel uncomfortable or irritated may be charged with harassment. A person who steals personal information, snoops, or intrudes on the privacy of others may also face this charge. When you are accused of harassing someone, you are dealing with serious accusations that could result in jail time or a criminal record.
You can better grasp the charges against you and build a solid defense with the assistance of an accomplished criminal defense lawyer. In this article, read what to do if you are charged with criminal harassment.
1. Hire a Criminal Lawyer
See GSPLaw – criminal harassment lawyer help guide for the understanding of what the offense is. When you are accused of a crime, you should see a lawyer. An attorney can assist you:
- Recognise your case
- Determine whether you have a defense by speaking with the Crown about ways to resolve your case.
- Comprehend the judicial system and potential punishments
- Assist you in selecting the best course of action for your case
To avoid a criminal record, you can opt for two further options after discussing them with your lawyer.
2. Sign a Peace Bond
By signing a peace bond, you can effectively have your charges dropped. If you agree to a peace bond, you will have to avoid the complainant and stop communicating with them for a year.
Additionally, you will have to comply with requirements including maintaining good moral character, reporting to probation when necessary, and keeping the peace throughout this period. The charges against you will be dropped after you sign the peace bond, allowing you to avoid a criminal record.
3. Complete a Diversion Program
By completing a diversion programme, you can also get your criminal harassment charges reduced. The Alternative Measures Program (AMP) or a mental health diversion programme are two alternatives that you could have accessible to you. If you are diverted, you must do tasks like counseling, community service, or other therapies.
This usually happens over the course of several months. The charges against you will be dropped if you complete the programme, allowing you to avoid a criminal record. It might be very challenging to achieve this type of resolution, though, given the severe and terrible nature of this offense.
As a result, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney as quickly as possible if you have been accused of criminal harassment.
The Act Of Criminal Harassment
The courts will define the following actions as “stalking” or criminal harassment:
- Repeatedly following a complainant or a person known
- Interacting repeatedly with a complainant or a person known
- Watching or “besetting” a known place where the complainant will likely be found
- Using threatening language with the complainant or someone known to them
Facing criminal harassment charges can be daunting for you and hard on your emotions. If you’ve been charged with criminal harassment, hire a professional lawyer to put forth your best defence and guide you through the complex and stressful process that lies ahead.