Criminal Harassment Defense Lawyers in Kansas City

The offence of criminal harassment entails more than a stranger lurking in the shadows. Harassment takes on multifaceted dimensions that manifest in many different ways and arenas of life. From verbal harassment to stalking and other menacing behavior, all forms of harassment have the potential to present a myriad of challenges and severe consequences.

If you or someone you care for is being accused of harassment, you should consider seeking the help of experience Kansas City harassment defense lawyers. These are legal experts who understand the law applicable in harassment charges and defenses available to accused persons.

In this article, we will discuss the different forms of harassment in Kansas City, penalties, how criminal defense lawyers can help you when charges with criminal harassment.

What is Harassment?

Harassment is typically conduct that include unwanted communication that may be intimidating, frightening, threatening, or causing emotional distress to another person.

If you are wondering what amount to emotional distress, it is defined as something greater than the normal level of nervousness, unhappiness, uneasiness, or similar emotions as experience in day-to-day living. In Missouri, harassment charges carry the potential for stiff fines, significant jail time, and a period of probation.

What MO Law Says About Harassment

It is important to understand the various forms of harassment and legal provisions that proscribe acts of harassment. Missouri has two statutes dealing with  harassment.

Section 565.090: Harassment, First Degree

Pursuant to the provisions of MO Rev Stat § 565.090 (2018), a person commits the offense of harassment in the first degree if they, without good cause, engage in any act with the intention to cause emotional distress to another, and such action causes the other person to suffer emotional distress. The offense of harassment to the first degree is considered a Class E felony.

If found guilty of the offense of harassment in the first degree, you can face up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Even worse, you will be labeled a convict felon for the rest of your life.

It is worth noting that this section does not apply to activities of municipal, county, state, or federal law enforcement officers conducting investigations of violation of any law.

Section 565.091: Harassment, Second Degree

Pursuant to the provisions of MO Rev Stat § 565.091 (2018), a person commits the offense of harassment in the second degree when they, without good cause, engage in any act with the intention to cause emotional distress to another person.

This offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, unless the accused has previously pleaded guilty to or been found guilty of a violation of this section or any other federal, state, military, county, or municipal law which if committed in Missouri would be chargeable as a violation of this subsection, in which case it is a Class E felony.

Being found guilty of harassment in the second degree attracts a punishment of up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

This section does not apply to activities of law enforcement officers conducting investigations of violation of the law.

How Harassment Defense Lawyers Can Help You

If you have been charged with criminal harassment, a harassment lawyer is the first person you should call. Strategy is important in defending a criminal harassment charge. Your defense attorney will assess your case and offer you the best counsel. This can mean the difference between maintaining a clean slate and having a criminal record.

The Prosecution’s Case

To prove guilt in a harassment case, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you:

  • Used actions or words;
  • To convert intimidation or threats towards another person;
  • Those actions or words were unsolicited and unwarranted; and
  • Your actions and words caused fear, inconvenience, or significant emotional distress.

The Harassment Defense Lawyer’s Role

Your Kansas City harassment attorney will fight to disapprove any or all of the four elements of the crime of harassment as put forth by the prosecution. Below are the ways in which your defense attorney will help:

  1. Explaining the Charge  and offering Guidance

Your lawyer will explain the charges to you. This includes reviewing the prosecution’s evidence and assessing the strength of the prosecution’s case. They will then offer valuable guidance on what you should expect and how to proceed. A good defense lawyer knows the harassment statutes and how the judge will interpret them.

  1. Preparing a defense strategy

Your lawyer will work with you to build a strong defense strategy. This process includes gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and building defenses to prosecution’s allegations.

This is important in harassment cases because most of the evidence will be witness testimonies. As such, it is imperative to gather such witness testimonies and gauge the credibility of the witnesses early.

  1. Communicating with the Prosecution

Your attorney will also take up the responsibility of communicating with the prosecution on your behalf, reducing the stress you might already be under.

  1. Protecting Your Rights

Like in all criminal cases, the procedures governing the case as it progresses toward trial are important. You lawyer will ensure that your constitutional rights and protections are protected throughout the process.

  1. Negotiating with the Prosecutor/State

Depending on the graveness of the offense, the strength of your defense, and strength of the prosecutor’s case, your harassment lawyer might decide to negotiate a plea deal agreement with the prosecution as the best course of action. Plea deal agreements can reduce your sentence or charge in exchange for a guilty plea.

  1. Defending you at Trial

If your case gets to trial, your Kansas City harassment defense lawyer will represent you, call and question witnesses, and argue your case to the jury or judge. A seasoned lawyer with experience in handling harassment matters will know how to cross examine witnesses without appearing to be insensitive.

  1. Challenging Evidence

A good criminal defense attorney will challenge the evidence proffered against you and try to get it excluded from court record.

For instance, if the law enforcement officers searched your computer or phone without a warrant, any evidence so gathered might be inadmissible in court. However, this does not happen automatically and you will need an great lawyer to structure cross examination questions in a manner that erodes the witness’s credibility.

  1. Arguing Defenses

Since one of the elements of harassment is intent, your lawyer can argue that you didn’t have the intent to harass the victim. There are other numerous defenses that a lawyer can argue in a harassment case.

  1. Mitigating after Conviction

If you end up being convicted for harassment, a criminal defense lawyer can identify mitigating factors that may justify a lighter sentence. They will help argue such mitigating factors before the court during sentence hearing.

Why Choose KC Defense Counsel?

If you have been charged with criminal harassment in Kansas City, it is important that you talk to experienced criminal defense lawyers that you can trust. At KC Defense Counsel, you have award-winning criminal defense lawyers at your service.

With us, you will benefit from aggressive experience representation with multiple defense strategies. What’s more, we offer free confidential consultation. Call us today at 816-287-3787 or complete and submit this contant form to start building a strong defense against the harassment charges entered against you now.