HARASSMENT - A MISDEMEANOR OR SUMMARY OFFENSE IN PENNSYLVANIA
Harassment charges are graded as either summary offenses punishable by up to 90 days in jail, or as 3rd-Degree Misdemeanors, punishable by up to 1 year in jail. Whether it's a summary or misdemeanor case, it is important to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer to take your case.
WHAT CONSTITUTES HARASSMENT IN PENNSYLVANIA?
The Harassment statute is found under Title 18 Section 2709(a) of the PA Crimes Code. A person commits a Summary harassment punishable by up to 90 days in jail if he or she does one of the following acts:
- Strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same;
- Follows the other person in or about a public place or places
- Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which serve no legitimate purpose;
A person commits a 3rd-Degree Misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 1 year in jail if he or she commits one of the following acts:
- Communicates repeatedly in an anonymous manner;
- Communicates repeatedly at extremely inconvenient hours; or
- Communicates repeatedly in a manner other than specified in paragraphs (4), (5) and (6).
The grading of this charge increases by one level (summary to M3, M3 to M2) if the alleged victim had an active Protection From Abuse order against the person charged at the time of the offense.
WHY AM I BEING CHARGED WITH HARASSMENT?
Harassment is often a lesser charge tacked on by police when a person is charged with Aggravated Assault, Simple Assault, Stalking and other offenses. There are many types of incidents which can apply, including physical altercations, verbal altercations, repeated phone calls or other interactions after being ordered to stop contacting another person, and other non-verbal conduct which doesn't serve any legitimate purpose.
HOW THE ZUCKERMAN LAW FIRM CAN HELP
Regardless of the grading, a harassment charge can lead to potential jail time as well as a criminal record. These offenses should not be taken lightly. Attorney Dave Zuckerman of the Zuckerman Law Firm has prosecuted and defended those accused of harassment throughout Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Call the Zuckerman Law Firm today at 412-447-5580 for a free telephone consultation.