The Colorado Revised Statutes define criminal Harassment at C.R.S. 18-9-111. This statute contains many subjective terms which make it difficult to predict what is unlawful. People living in Denver, Aurora, Littleton, or other high density parts of the metro area will most likely apply different meanings to terms like “annoy,” or “alarm,” or “obscene,” compared to someone from the rural parts of Weld, Adams or Arapahoe County. Furthermore, the crime of Harassment is one of those which many people believe should be prosecuted whenever they are inconvenienced for any reason.
Occasionally, our office will receive calls from people that think we help prosecute crimes. Yesterday, I talked with a man that wanted to “file” Harassment charges against his neighbor’s little boy for throwing rocks at his daughter. After explaining what criminal defense attorneys do, the man still felt obligated to tell his story. I encouraged the caller to try to work the problem out directly with his neighbor.
I share that story to illustrate the point that by its nature, this crime is subjective, and when a person feels victimized they often use Harassment as the label for their “injustice”. The Colorado Harassment statute (C.R.S. 18-9-111) was never intended to keep people from being inconvenienced for any reason. However, our society tends to live with a false assumption that we should be free from all nuisance or difficulties caused by others. To make matters worse, police and District Attorneys seem to have bought into this misconception. Whenever there is a conflict between neighbors in Douglas, Jefferson, or Denver County, people are quick to call the police to resolve problems. Many times, these seemingly insignificant disputes end up in court with criminal charges filed by government workers. I believe this practice stems from a growing belief that people are not capable of resolving minor problems between themselves, and that government is a useful tool for revenge.
Keep in mind, being charged with Harassment should not be taken lightly. A conviction for this crime may carry life-long consequences. In this information age it may harm your future earnings or where you can obtain housing. Your conviction may also impact your relationships with relatives, neighbors, or where you can do volunteer work.
If you are facing Harassment charges in Colorado, contact an attorney that will give you the best advice and defend you aggressively. At the O’Malley Law Office, P.C., we will do just that, and we think you will agree after your free initial consultation. So, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.