To some, harassment may seem harmless or trivial; but in reality, it is not. As with every crime, there are different types of harassment, with varying levels of severity that come with a charge.
It was recently agreed upon in the state of Colorado that cyberbullying can in fact turn into criminal harassment after a Highland’s Ranch teen attempted suicide as a result of cyberbullying attacks. Thankfully, she survived but unfortunately was permanently disabled. Thus in 2015, Kiana Arellano’s Law was passed prohibiting obscene language, or language intended to harass or threaten an individual by means of telephone, text message, or other interactive electronic mediums such as social media.
The elements of the crime of harassment (communication) are:
If someone is followed severely enough, the action could become a stalking charge. Stalking carries more severe consequences than other forms of harassment and can include penalties of 1-3 years in prison and/or fines of $1,000-$100,000 for first time offenses. The act of stalking is defined as repeated attempts to follow, approach, or contact an individual that results in the person to feel emotional distress.
The elements of the crime of harassment (follow) are:
Some may argue that it is their constitutional right to express themselves, and this is true. But you do not have the right to intentionally bother, annoy, or alarm someone. The law protects citizens against wanton harassment. And if the harassment is based on a person’s religion, race, or disability, you can face more severe punishments including, 6-18 months in jail and/or $500-$5,000 in monetary fines.
The elements of the crime of harassment (obscene) are:
You cannot poke, shove, or kick another person as a means to intentionally provoke them, annoy them, or cause them alarm. If you do physically touch someone in a way that causes injury, a harassment charge could get bumped up to assault.
The elements of the crime of harassment (physical contact) are:
Another branch of harassment is engaging in “revenge porn”. This is when someone over the age of 18 posts intimate images of another person that is also over the age of 18 without their permission, resulting in the emotional distress of that person. These could be images of a person’s private intimate parts or depictions of sexual acts. Posting images such as these on social media is considered harassment and can land you up to 18 months in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.
The elements of the crime of posting a private image for harassment are:
Because harassment is such a broad term, it is easy to charge someone with this offense. We understand what you are up against. Maybe you have been falsely accused of harassment or you did not intend to harass anyone. No matter what the circumstances revolving your case are, call Chris Ponce for help.