A person is guilty of harassment in the State of Washington if they threaten to:
1. Cause injury to another person; or
2. Cause physical damage to the property of another person; or to subject the person to being restrained (tied up) or held hostage.
3. Act in a malicious manner to substantially harm the persons physical health, mental health or safety; and
4. The persons fear was reasonable based on the words or conduct of the defendant. (note: the term words or conduct can refer to: text messages, voice mails, emails, or any other form of electronic communication).
5. A charge of Harassment is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine.
2. Felony Harassment
Harassment is a Class C felony if:
1. The defendant has been previously convicted of a misdemeanor harassment charge. or;
2. If the victim is the named party in a no-contact or anti-harassment order; or
3. The threat is a death threat; or
4. The harassment is directed toward a criminal justice official that is engaged in their official duties; or
3. Can I fight an accusation of Harassment?
Absolutely, an accusation of harassment can be leveled by a former lover, neighbor, ex-spouse, landlord or others. These charges often are weak and lack independent evidence such as independent witnesses or physical evidence. The accuser often has an "axe to grind" and may be using the police as a weapon to attack you, rather than a shield to protect themselves.
If you have been accused of harassment then feel free to contact my office for a free and discreet consultation. Addressing an accusation as soon as possible can improve your situation and protect your rights.