Criminal harassment charges are one of the most common charges laid in domestic situations. Just like any other charge in a domestic situation, a person charged with criminal harassment will almost certainly be under a no contact order with the victim.
In its simplest form, criminal harassment is harassing a victim in a way that leaves the victim reasonably fearful for their safety. This is most often done by communicating with a person repeatedly. I have seen people charged with criminal harassment for making too many unwanted phone calls, sending texts and emails, and repeatedly communicating with a victim that wants to be left alone.
Following a person and stalking them can also be criminal harassment if it causes the victim to reasonably fear for their safety. Additionally, the law states that engaging in threatening behaviour to a person or his/her family member is also harassment.
Prior to laying charges, police will often warn a harasser that he/she could be charged if the behaviour continues. If the behaviour then continues, the harasser will be charged. A conviction for criminal harassment will always result in a weapons prohibition for the person charged, this is without exception.
In order for a person to be convicted of the charge of criminal harassment under section 264 of the Criminal Code, the prosecutor must prove that the accused harassed the victim and the victim reasonably feared for their safety. The prosecutor must also prove that the harasser knew that he/she was harassing the victim or that the harasser was reckless to that fact that he/she was harassing the victim. Therefore, it is possible to be convicted of criminal harassment without knowing that you are in fact harassing the victim.
If you are charged with criminal harassment, contacting a criminal lawyer could be the difference between walking free and having a criminal record. Contact one today.