What is Harassment?
Harassment is a term applied to a broad range of persistent, unwanted actions and behaviors that can be considered criminal. Following someone home or coming to his or her place of work, for example, can constitute the form of harassment known as stalking. However, less direct forms of harassment might include sending threatening letters, repeatedly calling someone, or intentional exposure to materials that victim might find culturally offensive.
Harassment is no small matter. If proven in court, it can be considered either a gross misdemeanor or a felony and carry serious consequences. Moreover, even if the harasser does not intend to produce feelings of fear and intimidation in the victim, their actions alone can be enough.
“Honest” intentions, such as romantic obsession, are therefore not as important in determining punishment as the actions taken or how the victim feels. Regardless of what the harasser is trying to accomplish or prove in his or her actions, the law generally considers obviously unsolicited attention as potentially dangerous if left unchecked.
Common Types of Harassment
Apart from stalking, punishable harassment can fall into one of several distinct categories, including:
- Bullying – these are the persistent negative attacks, usually directed at those in positions of less power, that are characterized by a level of malicious and humiliating intent
- Sexual Harassment – Often associated in popular culture with the workplace, sexual harassment can range from “innocent jokes” and suggestive looks or communications to physical contact
- Racial Harassment – pertains to any words or actions that belittle someone on account of his or her race or ethnic origin
- Religious Harassment – can apply both to the persistent ridicule of certain belief systems and to exceptionally “pushy” behavior on the part of those trying to spread their religious convictions
If you or someone you know has been accused of harassment, it is important that you respond as quickly and effectively as possible to these charges. Contact the experienced San Jose harassment defense lawyers of the [firm-name] by calling [firm-name] today to explore your options.