Alberta Legal | Criminal Defence Lawyers

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Criminal Defence Lawyers

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CRIMINAL HARASSMENT LAWYER CALGARY

Have you been accused of stalking, uttering threats or other actions that may constitute criminal harassment? Our experienced criminal harassment lawyer and criminal lawyer in Calgary will protect your rights and interests.

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WHAT ARE THE COMMON EXAMPLES OF CRIMINAL HARASSMENTS  IN CALGARY?

Criminal harassment is defined in the Criminal Code as an offence against the person and reputation. To understand what constitutes criminal harassment in Calgary, we’ll look at a few common examples of overly threatening behaviour that may make someone fear for their personal safety.

  • Stalking someone by repeatedly following them from place to place
  • Repeatedly sending someone messages on email or indirectly to anyone known to them
  • Watching someone at their home or place of work repeatedly
  • Incessantly calling the same person or someone known to them, such as a member of their family
  • Leaving threatening messages, voicemails etc
  • Contacting someone repetitively on the internet

There are criminal harassment cases that may also involve sexual harassment. These can result in a criminal charge depending on the unique circumstances.

For the harassing behaviour to constitute criminal harassment, it must result in the complainant fearing for their personal safety. Additionally, repeated messages sent by someone with lawful authority, such as a lawyer or peace officer, may not constitute criminal harassment.

CRIMINAL HARASSMENT IN CALGARY – WHAT ARE THE BEST DEFENCES
CRIMINAL HARASSMENT IN CALGARY – WHAT ARE THE BEST DEFENCES

CRIMINAL HARASSMENT IN CALGARY – WHAT ARE THE BEST DEFENCES?

As criminal harassment lawyers in Calgary, we understand that there are unique circumstances surrounding every allegation. When representing clients who are facing criminal harassment charges, our goal is to effectively show that the complainant’s fear was caused by reasons other than our client’s behaviour.

We put up an experienced defence to showcase the relationship that existed between our client and the complainant and the history of their communication to prove that there is no basis for the harassment claims. Our lawyers will defend anyone charged with harassment by arguing that their behaviour was not in any way meant to make the complainant feel fear.

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HOW CAN A CRIMINAL HARASSMENT LAWYER IN CALGARY HELP YOU?

RIGHT REPRESENTATION WITH YEARS OF EXPERIENCE

CRIMINAL HARASSMENT LAWYER IN CALGARY

In criminal harassment cases, the strength of the defence will depend on the specific facts of the case. You’ll need an experienced lawyer to assess various defences and determine what to present to the court at trial.

A criminal harassment lawyer  can help in:

  • Gathering documents and evidence to support your defence and contradict the allegations
  • Collecting witness statements to support your version of events
  • Highlighting mistakes and oversights in police statements and other actions taken
  • Uncovering systemic errors such as lost evidence to weaken the allegations
  • Uncover other weaknesses in the crown’s case that will help support your defence

Even if you believe that you are likely to be convicted of criminal harassment, the crown must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you committed the offence. Once you provide our lawyer with a statement about what happened as well as the documents and records of the event, we will educate you on your options and create a plan of action depending on the specifics of your case.

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OUR CALGARY CRIMINAL HARASSMENT LAWYERS IN ACTION

R v TC – Criminal Harassment, Potential Pitfalls, & How We Avoided Them

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Our firm recently represented a young man charged with criminally harassing the mother of his child. In the case of R v TC, the mother claimed that he sent several text messages to her in an unwanted fashion. She told him to stop or else she would contact the police. Our client continued to contact her because he has a child with this complainant. He was attempting to communicate with her about their child. The complainant contacted the police. Our client was charged with criminal harassment contrary to section 264(2) of the Criminal Code. He was also charged with several other criminal offences. Fortunately, he had the good sense to retain an experienced criminal defence lawyer. We took his case. We analyzed the essential elements that the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt.

One difficult area is that the mens rea, the mental intent, can be proved through an area of law known as “recklessness.” This means that if the prosecutor could prove that our client engaged in conduct that he either knowingly harassed the complainant or was reckless in his actions then his mental intent would have been made out. However, another key component that the prosecutor must prove is that the complainant feared for her safety or the safety of those around her due to his conduct. That was the critical area for this trial. It was clear the communications that the complainant sent back to our client that she was more annoyed by him than fearful. We prepared a strategic cross-examination to draw this critical fact out.

However, we also had to be sure that we were prepared to fight another issue in the case that wasn’t readily known from the charging document, called the Information. It is possible to be found not guilty on the main charge against you but still possible to be found guilty on a lessor included offence. Section 372(3) is a lessor included offence that is known as harassment via repeated tele-communication. Because our lawyers always ascribe to our belief in Diligence, Doing Right & Ingenuity we prepared a thorough and solid defence against this potential pitfall for our client as well.

In order to be found guilty of this offence the mens rea (mental intent) cannot be made out via recklessness. This is because this offence is a specific intent offence. Criminal harassment is a general intent offence. The specific intent in section 372(3) would require that our client had the intent to harass the complainant via his repeated text messaging for the purpose of harassing her. Another one of our lawyers had a recent success arguing the issue of mens rea that is needed within this offence. Read more about that case here .

In the case of R v TC, he was rightly concerned about his daughter. It would have been difficult to convince a judge that his intent was to harass the complainant after a careful examination of the text messages.

This case demonstrates the value a person gets when they retain an experienced criminal defence lawyer to represent them. A conviction for a criminal harassment charge typically results in a period of jail time. The charge and a potential conviction is a serious matter. You need a serious lawyer to craft your defence.