Midlothian, United States – /McCarty-Larson, PLLC/
Being charged with harassment is serious and can expose the accused to criminal liability, fines, and even possible jail time. A conviction on one’s record, even if it is a misdemeanor, can have long-term negative effects on many facets of life, including employability. Because of this, it is important to take any formal accusations of harassment, whether it is in the workplace or in one’s personal life, seriously, says Midlothian, TX, criminal defense attorney McCarty-Larson.
What is Harassment?
When asked about harassment, most people associate the act with sexual harassment. There are, however, non-sexual actions that also constitute harassment. Texas Penal Code § 42.07 defines harassment as “intimidating, threatening, stalking, or otherwise making another person feel unsafe or annoyed.” Depending on the violation, the charge may be civil or criminal, but it must meet the elements of the crime as defined by Texas law. Many actions can be considered harassment, especially if the actions are repeated and can be considered threatening.
Some of these actions include:
- Repeatedly making obscene conversations or requests
- Repeated unwanted contact
- Excessive phone calls, emails, or texts with intent to threaten, intimidate, alarm, torment, or annoy
- Showing up at a person’s home or place of work uninvited after being told to stop
- Threatening to inflict injury or harm on a person, a family member, or personal property
Because there are many things that could be considered harassment or might be perceived differently by different people, several factors help determine whether an action constitutes harassment. Acts such as threatening harm or making obscene proposals to a minor can elevate a harassment charge to a more serious charge.
Some of the determining factors include:
- The victim considers the action threatening
- The perpetrator’s intent in committing the action
- Whether a reasonable person would preserve the action as harassing.
The Possible Penalties of Harassment in TX
Harassment is a Class B Misdemeanor. For a first-time conviction, a person may receive up to six months in jail and fines of up to $2000. A person may also have a prohibition from a License to Carry a weapon for five years and probation.
How to Respond to a Harassment Charge
Anyone charged with harassment should immediately stop the behavior or actions at issue. The second step is to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. When a coworker accuses a coworker of harassment, it begins a rapid chain of events, including talking to potential witnesses and getting a statement from the accused. It is important to get legal advice before speaking to anyone.
A criminal defense attorney will evaluate the situation and determine all possible defenses against the charges. When a person is charged with harassment, the court must determine whether the conduct at issue was, in fact, harassment or a form of insensitivity. The State must prove that the defendant consciously engaged in actions with the intent to harass the victim. In many cases, this distinction is very difficult to make. A skilled criminal defense lawyer can aggressively defend the case and attain the best possible outcomes.
McCarty-Larson PLLC | Criminal Defense Lawyer Midlothian TX
For anyone facing harassment charges, it is important to find the best criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Misdemeanor defense attorney Robin McCarty, a former peace officer and former prosecutor with more than two decades of experience, and the rest of the expert McCarty-Larson team aggressively protect client rights with skill and compassion. For more information, email [email protected] or contact the office at (972) 775-2100.
300 N 8TH ST STE 200
MIDLOTHIAN TX 76065-2632