Although charges for harassment and stalking often go hand-in-hand under the law they are considered separate charges. Stalking is a repeated offense that involves following an individual, watching them, following them through social media in a negative fashion or anything along the lines of a continued course of conduct to such a degree that a person feels threatened.
Harassment is considered a lower level of stalking. Harassment is when an individual may have acted in an inappropriate fashion on an occasion, over social media, or in person, in an exclusive manner, not in a manner of a continuing course of conduct. A Chester County harassment lawyer will be essential in understanding the differences between these charges and help build as strong a defense as possible.
Harassment can be committed through verbal or non-verbal means, in person, over the phone, or otherwise. A person may use physical intimidation to threaten someone, or a person may intimidate someone through a pattern of behavior, such as showing up to someone’s home or workplace. Harassment involves monitoring and following someone as well as intimidation.
A stalking charge requires a continuing course of conduct, over a longer period of time, with a higher level of proof required to reach a determination of guilt in Chester County. Harassment may be an appropriate resolution to a case a Chester County harassment lawyer could pursue because it is often charged as a summary offense and can lead to little or no penalty, while stalking is treated in a much higher regard. An individual is often charged with both stalking and harassment at the same time. Harassment charges carry less of a negative impact on a person’s reputation, so it is always to the benefit of an individual charged with either stalking and/or harassment to enter a negotiated sentence for harassment only with an experienced harassment attorney in Chester County.
Should an individual plead guilty or take a fine for a charge, that charge can prevent them from dealing with child custody matters, from obtaining a license to carry and many other factors such as picking a child up in school and/or any sort of state supervision when it comes to child welfare. Therefore, before an individual does any sort of plea to harassment, even if the charge is merely a citation-able charge and carries a fine, it is essential to understand that even those types of minimal charges can affect their future.
An order of protection in Chester County is an order that protects an individual from contacting another individual. For instance, should spouses get separated and one spouse decides to terrorize or threaten another spouse, an order of protection may be immediately issued. That order of protection can prevent the other spouse, the accused, from coming near the residence of the alleged victim, having contact with the alleged victim’s children, and even prevent an accused person from going to work if the alleged victim works in the same place. If any violation of such a charge occurs, the individual who violates is taken into custody. If a protection order is served, the first thing someone should do is obtain the services of an experienced Chester County harassment attorney.
That attorney will challenge the protection order and will state other reasons why the alleged victim is making those claim, as well as present evidence to the court on how such an order would not be appropriate given that a domestic case is ongoing, a child or spousal issue exists, and that the individual making such a claim of abuse is not telling the truth. In family law matters, it is common for the individual who files for the protection order to try to use it to their advantage in family court proceedings.
With the assistance of a harassment attorney in Chester County, the charges of harassment can best be analyzed and determined. This will be based on the particular facts of a person’s case. It is always beneficial to try to resolve a matter of stalking and harassment with a disposition of harassment only if a full acquittal is not possible. An attorney can negotiate a charge, which is far different and has a far different effect on a person’s future, and at the same time, if an individual is not guilty of such a charge, an attorney has the ability to fight that charge from the very outset and even prevent it from being charged in the first place.
Stalking and harassment are enough to affect any person’s well-being, future employment, future contact with certain communities, ability to obtain firearms, or do many things that would otherwise prevent them from acting as a regular citizen.