Criminal harassment is roughly defined under section 264 (1) of the Canadian Criminal Code as engaging in conduct without lawful authority that causes another person to reasonably, in all circumstances, fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
- Continuously pursuing or shadowing the other individual or individuals they are acquainted with, moving from one location to another.
- Persistently establishing communication, whether through direct or indirect means, with the other person or individuals they are acquainted with.
- Persistently loitering or observing the residence, workplace, business premises, or any location where the other person or individuals they are acquainted with reside, work, conduct business, or happen to be.
- Partaking in intimidating behaviour specifically targeted at the other person or any member of their family.
Understanding the Elements of Criminal Harassment
- Harassed: The crown must prove that the prohibited conduct troubled, tormented, plagued, worried continually or chronologically, bedevilled, or badgered the complainant.
- Fear for safety: This involves feelings of anxiety or apprehension regarding the potential for significant psychological harm or emotional distress in addition to the presence of physical danger or harm.
- Repeated Communications: It takes as little as two instances (depending on the circumstances) for the accused to satisfy the requirement of repeatedly communicating with the victim under s. 264(2)(b).
- Threatening Conduct: Consists of conduct that is intended to create a sense of fear in the recipient and serves as a tool of intimidation.
- Besetting or watching: Besetting is an active act that involves persistently or insistently soliciting, urging, or pressing someone in an improper manner. Watching is the passive act of continually observing another person for a purpose.
Looking for guidance on your criminal harassment charge? Dial (306) 585-1777 to get a free lawyer consultation.
Potential Penalties of a Dangerous Driving Charge
Criminal harassment is a hybrid offence. This means that the crown may choose to prosecute this offence summarily or by way of indictment.
Criminal Harassment: Summary Outcomes
- Minimum: None
- Maximum: 2 years less a day imprisonment and/or a $5,000 fine
Criminal Harassment: Indictment Outcomes
- Minimum: None
- Maximum: 10 years imprisonment
Aggravating Factors in Criminal Harassment Cases Include:
- Violating the terms of a peace bond as outlined under s. 810 of the Criminal Code
- Violating an order of prohibition under s. 161 of the Criminal Code
- Violating the terms or conditions of any other order or recognizance
- The offence was committed in a domestic context
Call (306) 585-1777 to consult a lawyer if you’re concerned about the potential penalties associated with a criminal harassment charge.
What Must the Crown Prove to Secure a Criminal Harassment Conviction?
In order to secure a conviction, the Crown prosecutor must prove the following:
- Date and time of the incident
- Jurisdiction (incl. region and province)
- Identity of accused as culprit
- The culprit has committed actions that are deemed unlawful under section 264 of the Criminal Code.
- The complainant was subjected to harassment due to the mentioned actions.
- The culprit, who participated in these actions, had knowledge that the complainant was being harassed or displayed recklessness or willful ignorance regarding the complainant’s state of harassment.
- The actions caused the complainant to experience a genuine fear for their own safety or the safety of individuals known to them.
- Considering all the circumstances, the fear felt by the complainant was reasonable.
Get a free lawyer consultation with a criminal lawyer to determine the strength of your criminal harassment case.
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