What Happens If You Are Being Charged with Harassment?
Being charged with harassment in the state of Pennsylvania is a serious offense that can come with jail time and fines if you’re found guilty in court. A conviction of harassment can make your life more difficult when it comes to finding housing and employment. As experienced domestic violence lawyers in Philadelphia, we understand how a harassment charge is handled in the courts and provide you with an effective defense. Read on to learn more about being charged with harassment and how a lawyer can help.
How Harassment is Defined Under the Pennsylvania Criminal Code
The Pennsylvania Criminal Code Title 18 Sec. 2709 considers certain actions to be harassment. The actions can be physical or virtual, and consist of the following actions:
- Repeated communication whether being told to stop or not.
- Threatening to physically contact another individual.
- Striking, kicking, shoving, or other forms of physical contact with another individual.
- Following or stalking someone in one or more public settings.
- Repeated anonymous communication.
- Sharing lewd or threatening words, drawings, spoken language, or caricatures of another person.
- Communicating at inappropriate or inconvenient times.
- Repeated communication in one form or another.
Penalties for Harassment Charges
Harassment charges are classified as summary and misdemeanor. A summary charge is a minor classification and carries a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and a maximum fine of $300. A misdemeanor charge comes with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500. There are several influencing factors that go into the severity of the charge, and they can affect the outcome of your case. Some of the influencing factors include:
- The type of behavior you were engaging in at the time.
- The length of time you were engaging in the behavior.
- Any previous offenses for related or unrelated issues on your record.
- The previous offenses are related to harassment or not.
The penalties are just part of the reason why you need to retain an attorney, especially if there’s a sexual component in the harassment. A sex crime defense attorney in Philadelphia can develop a defense on your behalf and look for weaknesses in the case that can go in your favor.
Call the Brennan Law Offices Today for Help With Your Case
Everyone is entitled to have their case heard in court and defend themselves against a criminal charge. At the Brennan Law Offices, we’re here to help our clients preserve their rights, especially when they’ve been charged with a serious crime. Our team of criminal defense attorneys is ready and able to give you the time and attention your case deserves.
You don’t have to accept your fate, no matter if you’re charged with harassment or another serious criminal charge. Contact us at the Brennan Law Offices to schedule a consultation and talk to us about your case.