Many people take it for granted that things like harassment accusations don’t ever happen to good people. They assume the accused not only actually committed the crime but knew exactly what they were doing the whole time. In other words, they automatically think someone facing potential Arizona harassment charges deserves everything they might get as a result.
However, in reality, things are rarely this straightforward. There are many hundreds of false harassment charges filed every year, so it’s easier than you think to accidentally wind up accused of harassing someone and face potential consequences that could change your life forever. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know if it ever happens to you.
What Counts as Harassment in Arizona?
The broad term “harassment” covers a lot of ground and can refer to just about any action or form of conduct that demeans, humiliates, intimidates, or pressures another person. And in the state of Arizona, the definition of criminal harassment can be just as broad – so broad that a person may not know they’re committing it until it’s too late.
The following are just a few behaviors that could potentially lead to criminal harassment charges in Arizona, especially if you know the target considers them unwelcome:
- Watching, following, or monitoring someone for no valid reason
- Contacting or otherwise repeatedly attempting to communicate with a target in a potentially intimidating manner
- Interfering with any aspect of the target’s life in a potentially troubling way
So what you may consider simple persistence when communicating with someone important to you could easily be viewed as harassment by that person. And if the police happen to agree with them, you could easily be looking at harassment charges.
Contact a Lawyer Immediately
When charged with criminal conduct of any kind – including harassment – the average person’s first instinct is usually to attempt to defend themselves and clear their name. They’ll do this by trying to get in touch with their accuser to make them see reason, or they might try to prove their innocence by blindly going along with everything the police ask of them.
But in actuality, you should do only one thing when you’re accused of any crime – get in touch with a qualified local attorney to discuss your options. Make sure it’s someone thoroughly familiar with Arizona harrassment laws, as well as experienced when it comes to dealing with cases like yours.
Even simply being accused of a crime like harassment can negatively affect your life, so it’s only natural to feel angry, hurt, and frustrated if it does happen. But it’s essential to resist the urge to act defensively or to retaliate against your accuser in any way.
Retaliation is an especially bad choice, as it can make you look guilty even if you’re not. And keep in mind that associated actions can actually be used against you in court if your case moves forward. So no matter how hard it is, stay calm and take anything that happens in stride.
Listen to Your Attorney
One reason you’ll want to contact an Arizona harassment attorney as soon as possible when facing charges is it’s a way to guarantee that you handle the situation correctly right from the beginning. Your attorney will advise you on how to behave, help you compile evidence of your innocence, and answer any burning questions you may have.
So listen to every word of their advice and follow it to the letter. And when in doubt, always consult your attorney before talking to the police or taking any kind of definitive action that might affect your case. In other words, play things safely and smartly. You’ll be glad you did.