Being charged with harassment, intimidation, or threatening can expose you to criminal liability, including jail, fines, and other consequences. Depending on the circumstances, these offenses can also be charged as crimes of domestic violence and result in enhanced penalties. Having a conviction on our record can also lead to other ongoing consequences in your life and potentially affect your ability to find a good job or housing or to secure credit.
What might occur after you face charges with intimidation, threatening, or harassment will depend on the circumstances and facts of your case and whether you can build a strong defense against the allegations against you. If you are convicted and have an otherwise clean record, you might avoid a jail sentence.
However, being convicted of one of these offenses can still result in a sentence to probation, a fine, mandatory classes, and community service hours. With the help of a knowledgeable Phoenix harassment attorney at Gurion Legal, you might be able to obtain a better outcome in your case.
Below is a brief overview of each of these offenses, the penalties they carry, and defenses that you might be able to raise against them.
In Arizona, criminal harassment occurs when a person acts in a way towards a specific person that would reasonably cause him or her to feel annoyed, harassed, or alarmed when the alleged victim does experience annoyance, feelings of harassment, or alarm as a result. This offense is codified in ARS 13-2921.
Under this statute, the police can charge you with harassment if you intentionally harass or know that you are harassing the target and do any of the following things:
These types of harassment are Class 1 misdemeanors. You cannot be charged with harassment for engaging in a demonstration or lawful assembly, and picketing is also not considered to be criminal harassment.
People can be charged with felony harassment under the statute when they harass a public official or an employee of a public official with the intent to harass by placing a nonconsensual lien against their property without a court order or judgment. This offense is a Class 5 felony.
Aggravated harassment is found in ARS 13-2921.01. Under this statute, you can be charged with aggravated harassment in the following two ways:
If you harass a victim after you have been served with a protection order or injunction against harassment, it is a Class 6 felony. If you harass a victim after you have been convicted of a domestic violence offense involving the same victim, it is a Class 5 felony.
Most harassment offenses are Class one misdemeanors. If you are convicted of harassment as a Class one misdemeanor, you can be sentenced to serve up to six months in jail and to pay a fine of up to $2,500. The court could also sentence you to probation for up to three years.
If the offense is designated as a domestic violence offense, you can face enhanced penalties, as will be further explained below.
If you are convicted of harassing a public officer or an employee of a public officer as a first offense, you will face the following potential penalties:
If you are convicted of harassing a public officer or an employee of a public officer when you have one prior allegeable felony, the prison range will increase to one up to 3.75 years. For two prior allegeable felonies, the prison range will be from a mitigated three years up to 7.5 years in prison.
If you are convicted of aggravated harassment of a victim after you were served with a protection order or injunction against harassment, it is a Class 5 felony with the following penalties for a first offense:
If you have one prior allegeable felony and are convicted of this offense, the prison sentence will be increased to a mitigated 1 year up to an aggravated 3.75 years.
If you are convicted of aggravated harassment after being served with a protection order or injunction against harassment and have two prior allegeable felony convictions, the prison sentence range you will face will be from a mitigated 3 years up to an aggravated 7.5 years.
Under ARS 13-1202, the police can charge you with intimidating or threatening if you threaten or intimidate someone through your actions or words to do any of the following things:
This statute does not require the victim to actually feel threatened. Instead, the court will look at whether or not you made real threats. If a reasonable person would feel threatened by the actions or words, then you will likely be found to have engaged in threats or intimidation.
Threatening or intimidating can be a Class 1 misdemeanor, Class 6 felony, or Class 3 felony, depending on the specific circumstances. If you are convicted of threatening to harm the victim or their property or to cause him to experience a serious public inconvenience, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor carrying up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.
Threatening or intimidating a victim is a Class 6 felony when the threats or intimidation are made in response to the victim’s report of criminal activity to a law enforcement agency or to a criminal reporting agency.
If you do not have any previous felony convictions, it carries a sentence of up to an aggravated two years. If you do have previous allegeable felony convictions, the penalties will increase.
If you are convicted of making threats or intimidating a witness on behalf of a gang, it is a Class 3 felony. A first conviction for this offense will result in a prison sentence ranging from a mitigated two years up to an aggravated 8.75 years. Second or subsequent felony convictions will result in an even longer prison sentences.
Under ARS 13-3601, the prosecutor might designate intimidation, threatening, or harassment charges as domestic violence offenses, depending on the nature of the relationship between you and the victim.
If you are charged with intimidation, face charges with threatening, or face harassment charges, the offense can be designated as a domestic violence offense if you and the victim have one of the following relationships:
If you are charged with harassment, charged with intimidation, or face charges with threatening and have one of the above-listed relationships with the victim, the prosecutor can add the domestic violence designation.
A domestic violence conviction can also result in mandatory domestic violence classes and counseling, mandatory restraining orders, and the suspension of your rights to own or possess firearms, in addition to the other penalties for the underlying offense.
Several defenses might be raised to harassment, intimidation, or threatening charges. The prosecutor is required to prove the elements of each of these offenses beyond a reasonable doubt before you can be convicted.
Your harassment defense attorney will carefully review the evidence and police reports to identify the best possible defenses to raise in your case. For a charge of harassment, your attorney might challenge the allegations in one of the following ways:
For charges of intimidation or harassment, your defense attorney might show that you did not threaten or intimidate the alleged victim. If the alleged victim acted first, he or she might also assert an affirmative defense of self-defense.
Your lawyer might also argue that you did not make a true or credible threat and that you simply exercised your First Amendment rights to free speech. Other defenses might also be available.
If you are facing a misdemeanor or felony harassment, intimidating, or threatening charge, it is critical for you to talk to an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.
Your highly qualified defense lawyer at Gurion Legal can review the facts of your case and discuss the defenses that might apply. Contact us today to schedule a confidential consultation.
I asked around for referrals for a criminal defense lawyer in the Biltmore area and Omer Gurion’s name came up often. Very responsive, reassuring, and confident. I’m so glad I called, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Thanks Omer!
There legal team was extremely accommodating and professional. They took care of everything from A-Z without any effort or concern on my part. They got my case thrown out and I would highly recommend them to anyone needing assistance with their legal problems. Thanks Gurion Legal!!!
Working with Omer was a pleasure during a very difficult, emotional and stressful time. He takes the time to listen and lets you know what to expect. He is professional, aggressive, has a sense of humor and gets results. Your hard work and dedication are appreciated Omer…Thank you!
My experience with hiring Omer as my attorney has been nothing short of great. Communication with Omer, Ashley and Lisa is always easy with quick responses. Based on my case Omer was able to pull off a miracle for me. Working with Gurion Legal took a lot of stress off me. They were able to get me the most favorable outcome for my situation and I’m beyond thankful for that. I know exactly who I’d go back to if needed or who I would definitely recommend to any family or friends in need of a lawyer.
Mr. Gurion did an amazing job representing me. He got the best possible outcome for my case.
Omer is a fantastic attorney. I highly recommend him to anyone looking for an amazing attorney.
I endorse the 5 stars they receive – they earn them. They’ve been hardworking and knowledgeable, and I should know, I’ve hired them twice! Dealing with legal matters is really difficult, confusing, and stressful, and they ease that burden when you want to count on and trust somebody. I fired my first defense attorney, who wasn’t working much at all to help me, and luckily found Omer and his colleagues. My outcomes were both times much better than I ever expected. If you’re reading reviews looking for legal help, call them.
My experience with Gurion Legal was amazing!
Lisa was so helpful, communicative and positive.
When some lawyers are extremely difficult to get a hold of, Lisa Always made time to take my calls and answer any questions. Not only did my case have a positive outcome, Lisa also made me feel comfortable through the entire process. I would highly recommend Gurion Legal to anyone seeking legal counsel.
Thank you Lisa!!
Amazing support. Very friendly. Not afraid to talk. Called back quickly. Highly respected for honesty and integrity!!
I was very pleased with the services at Gurion Legal. I worked with Lisa and she was very responsive to my situation. I had all my questions answered and was able to achieve my outcome in a prompt manner. I would absolutely recommend her to anyone in need of legal assistance.
Omer is a life saver; very professional, responsive, and thoughtful.
Great customer service always called and kept me up to date with what was going on made sure I knew what was going on and made sure I got the best outcome w my case very professional
Gurion legal stepped out of their normal commitments to support me probono (for free) in order to see it that justice is served. They always answer calls, keep me updated, and are on top of their game! I am so lucky to have them on my team:)
Omer and his team of experienced Lawyers were able to help me during one of my toughest points in life. I could not be more thankful for the level of care as well as the efforts they made to make me comfortable throughout the entire process. Thank you so much team!
Fantastic attorney. Omer was communicative, kind and made me feel completely confident going into a very scary time. The outcome was so stellar that I hadn’t even thought it possible prior to my trial. I highly recommend and am eternally grateful!