Criminal Harassment

What is criminal harassment? It isn’t just when someone annoys you once, and goes on their way.  It is actually the following:

  • someone engages (either willfully or maliciously) in a knowing pattern of conduct, or series of acts of a period of time directed at a specific person.
  • the person who has the acts directed at them must be seriously alarmed.
  • the acts must cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress.

One thing that is clear, is that the Commonwealth or the prosecutor must prove that the person charged engaged in a series of acts or actions, and not just a single act.

If you are convicted of criminal harassment what is the potential penalty?

  • jail for not more than 2 and 1/2 years or a fine of not more than 1000.00 or both.  A first conviction of criminal harassment does not carry a state prison sentence.

What about a second or subsequent conviction?

  • this carries a potential state prison sentence of not more than ten years or jail for not more than 2 and 1/2 years.

To read the entire statute click here.

A charge of criminal harassment is a serious one.  If you are charged with this in Massachusetts, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you.  Call Jessica Foley at the Law Office of Jessica A. Foley at 866-981-7888, emergency phone calls are returned 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

You can also send an email to

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