Harassment is an offence introduced in the Protection from Harrassment Act 1997. The prosecution must prove that someone pursued a course of conduct which amounted to harassment of another person and that it was known that harassment would be caused. If the harassment caused a fear of violence the matter becomes more serious and could result in a lengthy prison sentence.
If you or somebody you know has been accused of harassing another person, it is in your best interests to get in touch with a solicitor to resolve any discrepancies.
At Cartwright King, we take a non-judgemental approach to our client’s cases and acknowledge your right to expert legal representation. If you have been accused of harassment, it is vitally important to gain expert legal advice as soon as possible to put your case forward. Our acclaimed Criminal Defence Solicitors are available to support you from the outset, supporting you through the entirety of the legal proceedings and representing you in court if necessary.
Free Police Station advice
Everyone has the right to free legal advice when at the Police Station. Our experienced lawyers are available at any time of day or night to help you and make sure your position is protected and that your defence is properly presented. If you are arrested remember to tell the Police that you want to be represented by Cartwright King. Our highly skilled Criminal Defence team are here to take the worry off your hands. We can also provide an initial telephone consultation to see how we can assist in your case. Please call us on 0808 168 5550 or email email@example.com.
Harassment and the law
Harassment without violence can be committed in a variety of ways. The offence does not require proof of physical harm and evidence is often adduced of the mental anguish caused to victims. Examples of behaviour that can amount to harassment include, but are not limited to:
- Frequently contacting somebody at by telephone, email or digital message
- Damaging somebody else’s property
- Making unwanted and/or malicious communications
- Repeatedly photographing or filming another person
- Putting somebody else under surveillance
- Waiting outside somebody’s house
- Frequently sending unwanted gifts
These actions can cause a great deal of distress and anxiety to victims and are therefore treated seriously by the police and the courts. The rise of digital communications including Facebook and Twitter mean that these offences are becoming more common.
At Cartwright King, we are able to deal with cases regardless of whether you have been accused of harassing somebody else online or if you are a professional such as a journalist or photographer who has been overly keen to do their job. Regardless of the circumstances, it is imperative that you receive professional advice at the earliest convenience and our Solicitors will be on hand to intervene and lay down a strategy to provide you with the strongest defence possible.
What punishment could you face?
The punishment that you could face for harassment depends on the type of offence you face; non violent harassment can only be dealt with at the Magistrates and carries a maximum of 6 months imprisonment. The offence of harassment with a threat of violence can be heard at the Crown Court where the maximum sentence is 5 years imprisonment.
Maximum sentence for committing harassment without the threat of violence – Level 5 fine and/or 6 months custody
Maximum sentence for committing harassment with the threat of violence – 5 years custody
Additionally, even if acquitted of the offence, the court can make you subject to a Restraining Order. This order can prohibit certain behaviour, for example contacting the victim or going to a place or address. Breach of such an Order is an offence in itself which carries 5 years imprisonment at the Crown Court.
If you have been charged with an offence in relation to harassment, it is essential that you seek expert legal advice as early as possible. If arrested, you are entitled by law to be legally represented at the Police Station. You should always insist that the Police contact Cartwright King and not speak to the Police until you have had chance to consult with one of our experienced team. Cartwright King’s Defence Solicitors are available to advise you day and night through the legal proceedings and represent you in court if necessary making sure that the strongest defence case is put forward for you. They will also advise about your right to appeal should the need arise.
How can we help you?
If you or somebody you know has been accused of committing a harassment offence, our experienced Criminal Defence Solicitors are available to advise you throughout the entire legal process and build a strong case for your defence. We promise to:
- Advise you throughout the entire process
- Treat your case in a non-judgemental, sensitive manner
- Seek legal aid for you subject to your finances
- Deal confidentially with any concerns you may have
- Represent you in interview under caution by the police
- Prepare and collate any and all documentary evidence that may be required
- Represent you in both Magistrates and Crown Court as necessary
- Take the worry off your hands
- Prepare an appeal if necessary
Our team are highly ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides. We have extensive experience in successfully defending those who have been accused of harassment by our acclaimed Criminal Defence Solicitors and pride ourselves in our professional approach.
At Cartwright King our experienced lawyers will always advise you whether or not Legal Aid is available to fund your defence.
In order to be eligible you have to be able to pass two tests;
- First you must show that it is in the interests of justice that Legal Aid be granted to you. This might be because to establish your case will involve expert cross examination of witnesses by our lawyers, or because you are at risk of imprisonment, or that you suffer from some disability.
- Secondly you must pass a means test. This is based on the weekly income of yourself and your partner. There are slightly different rules depending on whether your case is to be heard at the Magistrates or Crown Court and the complexity of the provisions. Regardless, we are happy to take your details and advise whether you might qualify.
If unfortunately you do not qualify for Legal Aid we will always provide a competitive quotation to deal with your case on a private basis and can agree a payment plan with you to assist you and your family secure the best possible representation for you.
Why choose us?
At Cartwright King, our solicitors understand the long term negative consequences that being accused of committing a harassment offence can have for you, your reputation and your future. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explaining the likely outcomes and fighting on your behalf.
How to make contact
Always insist on representation by one of our lawyers if you are arrested. Remember that advice at the Police Station is free and will not delay your release.
If you require legal advice or if you would like a no obligation, free initial telephone discussion, then please call us on 0808 168 5550. Alternatively you can email the Criminal Defence team on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Our Criminal Defence Solicitors can provide advice and are happy to meet at a time and location that suits you. We also have a network of offices in Birmingham, Bedford, Bolton, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, London Temple, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Northampton, Nottingham, Sheffield and Worcester.