Harassment Defense Attorney in Castle Rock, Colorado
Facing harassment charges can be a complicated situation. Harassment charges can lead to serious legal consequences in Colorado. That is why understanding harassment and what to do about them can help charged individuals navigate the situation. However, don’t face the charges alone. At the Law Office of Lori Crystal, LLC, our attorney is prepared to advocate for those in Castle Rock, Colorado, so reach out today.
What Are Harassment Charges in Colorado?
There is a fine line between joking around and harassment. Often, individuals do not realize they have crossed the line until it is too late. By then, they have already engaged in unlawful actions such as unwelcome touching, speaking with sexual overtones, or uttering racially inappropriate comments.
To begin with, most people confuse sexual harassment with assault. They believe there must be forced sexual activity in order for harassment to be considered. However, that is not the case. Unwelcome situations, such as any type of forced physical encounter (i.e., inappropriate touching or kissing), can lead to harassment charges. Additionally, non-physical manifestations such as lewd comments, unsolicited advances, or proposals may constitute harassment.
However, not all harassment is sexual in nature. Harassment may occur as the result of intolerant or aggressive behavior toward someone due to their sexual orientation, gender, race, or ethnicity. Insults, physical assault, or psychological torment can fall under the harassment umbrella.
When Do Actions Cross the Line into Criminal Behavior?
In short, actions cross the line into criminal behavior territory when there is intent to cause harm. For instance, purposely targeting individuals due to their ethnicity constitutes criminal behavior. The severity of the actions depends on the nature of the actions. For example, taunting, insulting, or shaming may be considered less severe than physical aggression. Nevertheless, the actions still constitute criminal behavior.
Please remember that deliberate actions intended to cause harm are considered criminal. But what about unconscious actions that cause harm? Individuals may claim that they were not aware their actions caused others harm. While that is difficult to prove or disprove, the evidence may support the claim. Consequently, individuals responsible for unconsciously harassing others may be required sensitivity training to avoid future incidents.
Types of Criminal Harassment in Colorado
There are different types of harassment. Understanding the definitions and examples can help someone avoid harassment, as both the harasser and the victim.
Sexual harassment. Any type of unwelcome advances, comments, proposals, or contact, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, may be considered sexual harassment. The key is consent. Non-consensual actions, which cause harm to the victim, constitute criminal harassment. For example, an individual suggesting that an employee’s promotion depends on their acceptance of sexual advances constitutes criminal harassment.
Violence. Any type of violent incident intended to cause harm, such as verbal aggression, assault, or psychological torture, may constitute criminal harassment. For instance, a supervisor that manipulates employees into following orders commits psychological harassment.
Malicious conduct. Malicious conduct is outright behavior intending to cause harm. This behavior includes physical aggression or serious emotional distress. For example, locking factory workers in until they complete a task can be considered malicious conduct.
Criminal harassment. Persecuting or targeting individuals based on race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or any other situation constitutes criminal harassment. For instance, persecuting members of the LGBTQ community is criminal harassment and may be considered a hate crime.
What Are the Possible Penalties for Harassment in Colorado?
The possible penalties for harassment charges depend on the nature and severity of the actions themselves.
For instance, utterances of racially inappropriate conduct may be met with required sensitivity training and probation.
However, more serious incidents, such as physical aggression, can lead to misdemeanor assault charges. These charges carry a maximum one-year prison term and a fine.
Please note that serious incidents such as sexual assault can lead to felony charges. Felony charges start with, minimum, one-year jail terms. These terms may extend beyond a year, depending on the nature and severity of the incident(s) in question.
Please note that prosecutors take harassment charges seriously. They will push prosecution to the fullest extent. As a result, the possible penalties can be quite strict, especially in cases of cyberbullying, stalking, and in particular, hate crimes.
Individuals faced with harassment charges should seek the legal counsel of an experienced and professional criminal defense attorney. A trusted criminal defense attorney can work with prosecutors to explore the circumstances behind the charges. Depending on the individual’s criminal history (or lack thereof) and the nature of the charges, these could be reduced drastically.
Harassment Defense Attorney in Castle Rock, Colorado
At the Law Office of Lori Crystal LLC, we go the extra mile to help our clients protect their right to a fair defense. We understand that things are not always what they seem. That is why we work with our clients to set the record straight. If you need a criminal defense attorney on your side in Castle Rock, Colorado, and neighboring areas – including Parker, Lone Tree, Highland Ranch, Larkspur, Castle Pines, Franktown, Elizabeth, Kiowa, and Centennial – reach out today.