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How authorities define harassment

| May 23, 2018 | Harassment |

Harassment cases in Colorado or anywhere else in the country could either be civil or criminal. Civil matters include sexual harassment cases or those involving violations of housing laws. Criminal matters tend to involve cases such as stalking, and the states themselves generally determine if a person should be charged with criminal harassment. States generally define this as anything that is meant to annoy or terrorize an individual is defined as criminal harassment.

Furthermore, a case may only rise to such a level if a person believes that his or her safety or the safety of a family member is at risk. When someone has been stalked across state lines, the case will fall under federal as opposed to state jurisdiction. Federal law also applies if a person makes a threat to someone in another state using a computer.

Those who have been victimized by a stalker or anyone else who engages in harassing behavior could apply for restraining orders. Restraining orders are tools used to prevent individuals from being subject to further harassment. If one is violated, it could result in a person being charged with contempt of court or other crimes. This is true even when such an order has been issued by a civil court.

Those who have been charged with harassment could face a variety of penalties including jail time or probation. A restraining order could also be put in place. An attorney may be able to help a defendant create a defense to the charge. For example, it could be possible to cast doubt on statements made to police by a person claiming to be a harassment victim. It could also be possible to cast doubt on physical or digital evidence used to charge a person with the crime.