What are criminal threats and harassment?

If you're accused of threatening or harassing someone, you should know that you could face serious charges for those actions. You shouldn't take the accusations lightly, but instead discuss your case with a professional to understand the best ways to defend yourself.

What is criminal harassment?

Criminal harassment includes following someone you know multiple times, calling, contacting or visiting the person again and again, watching that person's home or work or threatening that person or his or her family. Harassment can also take place at work. For instance, repeatedly touching a person at work who has stated he or she does not want you to do so can get you in trouble. In most cases, a court needs to see that the behaviors you showed were menacing, but no actual injury has to take place. You don't even need to have the intent to harm the other person. You can be arrested due to the other person fearing for his or her safety alone.

Can threats be charged as assault?

It is also a criminal offense to threaten to kill or harm a person, to destroy, damage or burn property or to poison and kill or injury a person's pet. You can be accused of assault whether or not you touch or harm the person. Acting in a threatening manner is enough for an assault charge to result in arrest even if you would not have acted on your threats.

Your attorney has more information on what to expect if you're going through a criminal trial or if you've been accused of one of these actions. It's important to protect your reputation from the start, so you can keep your life as normal as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Assault and Battery Overview," accessed Feb. 10, 2017

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