Harassment Defense Lawyer Chester County
Stalking & Harassment Charges
Stalking is when a person engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts towards another person including following the person without proper authority, under the circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or cause substantial emotional distress to this person or if the person repeatedly communicates to another demonstrating an intent to place the other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotion distress to that person.
Because of his extensive experience representing individuals charged with such offenses, our team knows how fight your case at trial, get illegally obtained evidence suppressed, negotiate lower charges, alternatives to prison time, and reduced sentences.
It is essential that a skilled attorney gets involved to dispute the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s evidence, their version of events, and the testimony of their witnesses. It is important that you do not make the mistake and give a statement to the police or Chester County authorities before you have consulted and retained counsel.
What Classifies as a Harassment Charge?
Getting a harassment charge in Pennsylvania can bring your life to a screeching halt. You could face arrest and detention in a holding cell or jail, the loss of your job, damage to your reputation, and expensive court costs and fees. Knowing what classifies as an official harassment charge can help you understand when to call a lawyer. The sooner you get in touch with a defense attorney for a harassment charge, the better. Here’s what you need to know.
Criminal Harassment vs. Civil Harassment
Not all forms of harassment are the same. Criminal harassment is not the same as harassment in the workplace. In Pennsylvania, the law defines criminal harassment as any person who, “strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects someone else to physical contact, or threatens to do the same.” Criminal harassment can also mean stalking another person; engaging in acts that serve no legitimate purpose; saying anything lewd, obscene, or threatening to another person; and communicating repeatedly at extremely inconvenient hours or anonymously.
Harassment in the workplace is entirely different from criminal harassment. The U.S. Department of Labor enforces rules regarding workplace harassment, not the justice system of Pennsylvania. According to DOL policy, prohibited forms of harassment at work include adverse actions based on a protected class (e.g. race, gender, disability, age, sex, religion), quid pro quo (“this for that”) harassment, and consistent offensive conduct that creates a hostile work environment.
Quid pro quo harassment refers to when a higher-up, such as a manager, hints that he or she will give an employee something in return for a sexual favor. It also refers to when an authority figure says he or she will not punish an employee in return for satisfaction of a sexual demand. If the employer retaliates against an employee who rejects the sexual advance, the employee may be able to sue. The consequences of a criminal harassment charge and a workplace, or civil, harassment charge are very different in Pennsylvania.
Are You Facing Harassment Charges?
In a non-criminal context, the alleged victim can sue the harasser for damages through the civil court system. It is the victim who must bring these civil charges against the harasser, not the employer or the government. You will know if someone in your workplace is charging you with civil harassment if someone – either the alleged victim or a hired messenger – serves you with the claim papers. If you receive a Notice of Claim against you for harassment, hire a defense attorney immediately.
In the case of criminal harassment, you may face arrest if the State of Pennsylvania decides to press charges against you. The arresting officer or governmental authority may place you under arrest after someone files a complaint against you or calls 911 for alleged harassment. Once you get to the police station and are able to make a phone call, dial (610) 692-8700 to get in touch with Ciccarelli Law Offices. We can give you advice as to what to do next to protect your rights. If you’re not sure whether someone has charged you with a form of harassment, call us and we’ll help you figure it out.
Seek a Harassment Defense Lawyer in Chester County
While there are no guarantees in criminal defense law, understanding your rights and the legal options available to you can improve your chances when defending yourself from all types of Chester County Harassment and Stalking offenses. As a criminal defense attorneys serving Chester County and with years of experience in our criminal justice system, we understand how to negotiate with the court, how to identify questionable police conduct and suspicious testimony, and prevent clients from making certain kinds of mistakes.
When evidence and guilt is not in question, extenuating circumstances may convince the court to either reduce the charges against you or the sentence you face. As your Harassment or Stalking defense lawyers in Chester County PA, we work with prosecutors in exploring alternative sentencing options when a plea of “guilty” may be in your best interest. In certain cases where provocation, a medical condition, or alcohol is involved, it may be possible to avoid jail or a heavy fine in exchange for a promise to get counseling, provide community service, and agree to probation.
You also need Chester County criminal lawyers both passionate in what they do and compassionate in their treatment of their clients. You deserve a Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer that is available when you need him, treats you with respect, and protects your rights vigorously. We make your choice all the clearer fighting for clients throughout Chester County. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer, contact the lawyers at Ciccarelli Law Offices today at (610) 692-8700.