Criminal Harassment

Criminal Harassment is commonly laid in relation to domestic violence offences but is also seen frequently in cases involving text messages or social networks such as facebook or twitter, or disputes between family members, neighbours, or former friends or co-workers.  Our Vancouver based law firm has experience successfully defending Criminal Harassment charges and prides itself on helping clients move on with their lives.

Our criminal defence Law Office has have helped hundreds of first-time defendants, professionals, students, and families work their way through the challenges of the justice system, and we make ourselves available for consultations 24 hours a day, free of charge for clients with Criminal Harassment charges in Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, and throughout British Columbia.

What is the maximum sentence for Criminal Harassment in British Columbia?

A Criminal Harassment charge whether in the form of stalking or cyber-bullying, or any repeated pattern of conduct is treated quite seriously by the courts in British Columbia.  Under the Criminal Code, a conviction for Criminal Harassment carries a maximum possible penalty of 10 years imprisonment.

How can the prosecutor prove that I sent the facebook messages or texts?

The vast electronic data that is stored on users is becoming a valuable and regularly employed tool in the world of criminal law. The Crown is able to subpoena records from Facebook and other social networking sites in its effort to prosecute its case, and in matters involving text messages there is a presumption that the phone owner sent the message in the absence of evidence to the contrary.  In the case of messages sent over social networking sites, the complex and ever evolving area of law is something to discuss with your criminal defence lawyer.

There are many defences to Criminal Harassment that you will be able to discuss with us during your consultation.

My family or someone I know i being cyber-bullied, or being accused of cyber-bullying on facebook.  Can you help?

Beyond the most serious offences involving children, Canada has yet to legislate charges specific to cyber-bullying or crimes committed over the internet.  The spectrum of offences that occur online involving threats and harassment over social networks are dealt with under traditional charges such as Uttering Threats and Criminal Harassment.  If you’ve been charged with an offence related to the use of social media, or sending harassing text messages over cell phone, we’d be happy to share our experience dealing with these types of charges during our consultation.  For more information on cyberbullying charges [click here]. 

How is Criminal Harassment defined in the Criminal Code of Canada?

Criminal Harassment in the Criminal Code

  1. 264. No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonably, in all the circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.
  2. The conduct mentioned in subsection (1) consists of
    1. repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
    2. repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
    3. besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
    4. engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.

What are Harassing & Indecent Phone Calls charges?

Harassing & Indecent Phone Calls charges are offences closely related to yet technically distinct from criminal harassment charges.  While the standard of proof remains the same for all criminal offences – that of “beyond a reasonable doubt” the pattern of behaviour that is needed for a harassing & indecent phone calls charge does not require the same pattern or repetition of conduct that is usually seen in Criminal Harassment cases.