If you or a loved one were criminally charged with harassment, do not wait to reach out to our firm today to discuss the specifics of your case and your options with a skilled Cobb County criminal defense lawyer. Our legal team is on your side.
How does Georgia define criminal harassment?
Harassment that reaches the level of a crime varies slightly by state, but it typically involves:
- Targeting someone
- With behavior meant to alarm, annoy, torment, or terrorize, and
- Creating reasonable fear in the victim for their safety or the safety of their family or property
It is important to note that criminal harassment targets a distinct person, for instance, an ex-spouse. However, any person could be the target of harassment: a current or former partner, a coworker, a neighbor, or even a stranger. Furthermore, harassment could take many forms, including online harassment, sexual harassment, threats, or stalking. Sometimes it can include a threat of damage to the victim’s property, home, or car.
Stalking and Menacing
Interstate stalking is a federal crime. At the state level, “stalking” may be a different crime, or harassment and stalking may be covered by the same statute.
Stalking refers to an intentional pattern of malicious and repeated conduct that causes the victim to feel fear for their safety or their family’s safety. Examples of stalking are:
- Frequent unwanted phone calls and text messages at all hours
- Following a person, repeatedly showing up at the same place as the victim
- Tracking a person with an electronic device
- Leaving threats, notes, or gifts for a person at their home, in their car, at their desk
- Vandalizing a person’s property
Some states penalize stalking as a kind of “menacing.” Menacing is an action that causes reasonable fear in the victim. Menacing, however, can be a single act, such as brandishing a weapon. Stalking is a repetitious pattern of behavior.
According to federal law, it is a crime to communicate a hazard to kidnap or physically harm someone across state lines. This includes most internet communications, which generally travel through networks or servers that comprise interstate commerce.
Many states have modified their harassment and stalking laws to include electronic communications. “Cyberstalking” refers to stalking using electronic communications: the internet, email, text messages, and social networks. Some states penalize cyberstalking as the inappropriate use of computers or electronic communications networks. In a criminal case concerning cyberstalking, the issue of whether there was a fair reason for communication between the two parties can be an aspect.
Contact Our Experienced Firm
If you are facing criminal charges, or have been injured due to the negligence of another party, our firm will fight for you. Contact Miller Law Practice today.