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The elements of a personal harassment conviction

Due to the nature of human relations, it's not uncommon for two people to fall into disagreement, and in extreme situations, those disagreements can lead to yelling and threats. Not all interactions like this, however, are the fault of one person; sometimes both are to blame. Furthermore, not all interactions like this should lead to criminal charges.

If you find yourself in serious trouble with the law after an argumentative interaction -- and the accusations end in formal criminal charges -- you will then need to defend yourself in court. In preparation for your defense, you will want to know the elements required to convict you of the crime, so that you can develop a suitable strategy for your criminal defense.

One of the following elements must be present for a harassment conviction to occur:

  • The accused person anonymously caused communication to happen at an extremely inconvenient time.The accused person issued forth a communication that employed coarse or offensive language. The accused person issued forth a communication in a way that caused alarm or annoyance to the victim.
  • The accused person struck, kicked, shoved or offensively touched another person; or, the accused threatened to do one of these things to the victim.
  • The accused person conducted him or herself in a way that it caused alarm and/or fear in the victim; or, the accused person repeatedly committed acts to seriously annoy or frighten the victim.

In addition to the above, the instances of harassment need to have the actual intent to harass. As such, an accidental act that innocently results in someone feeling harassed, will not necessarily be sufficient evidence to satisfy the legal requirements of a harassment conviction.

A successful harassment defense will be different depending on the facts and evidence surrounding your case. As such, you may want to discuss your unique circumstances with a criminal defense lawyer in order to prepare for your criminal proceedings.

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