Harassment is a crime under Arizona law. But what is harassment? It is defined under Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-2921(E) as “conduct that is directed at a specific person and that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed or harassed and the conduct in fact seriously alarms, annoys or harasses the person. If you’ve been accused of harassment, contact a qualified Phoenix harassment lawyer at AZ Defenders immediately.
There are, in fact, a number of ways under the statute to commit harassment. You commit harassment if, with intent to harass or with knowledge that you are harassing another person, you:
Finally, there is a special kind of harassment that is only against public officers or employees. You commit harassment against a public officer or employee if, with the intent to harass, you file a nonconsensual lien against them that is not accompanied by an order or judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction authorizing the filing of the lien or is not issued by a governmental entity or its subdivision, a valid licensed utility, mechanics’ lien claimant, or an entity created under CCNRs affecting real property. Our Phoenix criminal lawyers have experience defending all kinds of harassment in Arizona.
Harassment against a public officer or employee is a class 5 felony. A class 5 felony is punishable by 6 months to 2.5 years in prison, up to 3 years of probation and a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. Prior felony convictions increase the punishment.
The other forms of harassment are class 1 misdemeanors. A class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and up to 3 years of probation. To learn more, speak with a Phoenix harassment lawyer.
Harassment can be made worse, however. If the alleged victim was granted an order of protection or injunction against harassment against you, and that order has been served and is valid and you commit harassment, then you can be charged with aggravated harassment. Aggravated harassment is a class 6 felony. A class 6 felony is punishable by 4 months to 2 years in prison, a fine of up to $150,000 plus surcharges and up to 3 years of probation. A second or subsequent conviction for this would be a class 5 felony, and if you have prior felony convictions could lead to longer mandatory prison sentences.
Another form of aggravated harassment occurs when you have a prior conviction for a domestic violence offense against the same alleged victim. This form of aggravated harassment is a class 5 felony.
Regardless of whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor, a conviction for harassment can have long lasting effects on your life. Arizona does not have expungement, and so a conviction will stay with you forever. If you are facing harassment charges in any court in the state, you need an aggressive, knowledgeable, and experienced Phoenix harassment lawyer to assist you in getting the best possible result in your case. Contact the AZ Defenders today for a free consultation by calling (480) 456-6400 or contact us online.