Harassment in Colorado, C.R.S. 18-9-111
Denver Harassment Attorney
Harassment, also known in Colorado as Kiana Arellano’s law, is a common charge because its broad definition can be applied to various conduct. Almost a catch-all charge, it’s easy to accuse someone of harassment, and is easy for the government to prove. Yell at me and it could be harassment; touch or push me–harassment.
Regardless of its simplicity, a harassment conviction can trigger significant consequences that jeopardize your freedom. Certain convictions may limit your ability to own firearms, require that you complete domestic violence counseling, prevent you from communicating with friends or family, or hurt your chances of landing a new job. At the Law Office of Andres R. Guevara our attorneys routinely represent clients charged with harassment in Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, and Weld County. Armed with years of trial experience and respect from District Attorneys, our criminal defense lawyers work diligently to protect your rights and defend your freedom.
Talking to the police in an attempt to explain your way out of a bad situation is one of the biggest mistakes a person can make. Police are not counselors and rarely will you help yourself by telling them your side of the story. In a he said, she said situation, it is best to remain silent and allow a knowledgeable attorney to speak on your behalf.
Elements of Harassment in Colorado
(1). A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:
- Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact; or
- In a public place directs obscene language or makes an obscene gesture to or at another person; or
- Follows a person in or about a public place; or
- Directly or indirectly initiates communication with a person or directs language toward another person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, telephone network, data network, text message, instant message, computer, computer network, computer system, or other interactive electronic medium in a manner intended to harass or threaten bodily injury or property damage, or makes any comment, request, suggestion, or proposal by telephone, computer, computer network, computer system, or other interactive electronic medium that is obscene; or
- Makes a telephone call or causes a telephone to ring repeatedly, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate conversation; or
- Makes repeated communications at inconvenient hours that invade the privacy of another and interfere in the use and enjoyment of another’s home or private residence or other private property; or
- Repeatedly insults, taunts, challenges, or makes communications in offensively coarse language to, another in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response.
Penalties of Harassment in Colorado
Harassment is a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by jail or fine, but is a class 1 misdemeanor if is committed because of someone’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin. Additionally, you may be forced to move out of your home, abstain from consuming drugs and or alcohol, and forfeit any legal firearms once you are charged with harassment and served a protection order.
There could also be unforeseen consequences if you have a harassment charge on your record. Employers routinely conduct background checks on all job applicants and a harassment charge may be the difference between getting the job or not.
Harassment and Domestic Violence in Colorado
We often see harassment charges filed after domestic arguments. As you can see by the lengthy definition above, just about any form of communication could be construed as harassment. Added as a sentence enhancer, domestic violence stigma can attach to almost any criminal offense between individuals with an “intimate relationship.” In addition to the stigma surrounding domestic violence, such a conviction can directly damage your right to own and use firearms.
Is Harassment the Same as Assault in Colorado?
No. While C.R.S. 18-9-111(1)(a) relates to striking, shoving, or otherwise touching another person, harassment is different than third-degree assault in that the government does not need to prove “bodily injury” to convict you of harassment. Without the element of pain, you can see how easy it can be to prove harassment. Putting your finger on someone can be enough to convict you on this charge. Not fair at all.
Colorado Attorney Defending Harassment
We cannot stress enough the importance of protecting your right to remain silent when interacting with the police. Once you make a statement to law enforcement you may have unknowingly talked yourself into more trouble by making a case for the police. The Law Office of Andres R. Guevara is prepared to protect your reputation and your future. Our experienced and aggressive trial attorneys have received numerous not guilty verdicts at trial, or had the harassment charges dismissed altogether. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.