Criminal Harassment Charges – Everything You Need to Know

Charges of criminal harassment must be based on fear. Actions such as repeatedly following, communicating with, or observing someone—commonly referred to as stalking—can reasonably cause an individual to fear for their safety. Criminal harassment charges can be brought against people in a range of circumstances, such as neighbor disputes, breakups/divorces, and even ending a business partnership. If charged with criminal harassment you need to understand the gravity of these charges because they may have major legal consequences.

Criminal Harassment Charges Under the Criminal Code:

Under Section 264 (1) of the Canadian Criminal Code,

Criminal harassment – No person shall, without lawful authority and knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other is harassed, engage in conduct referred to in subsection (2) that causes that other person reasonable, in all circumstances, to fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them.

An accused stalker may be judged guilty of the following offenses if they intentionally or recklessly engage in any of these behaviors:

  • following the victim or anybody they know repeatedly;
  • communicating, either directly or indirectly, with the victim or anyone they know repeatedly;
  • harassing or watching the victim or people they know at their house, place of employment, or other locations where they may be seen regularly; or
  • acting threatening towards the victim or any members of their family.

Criminal Harassment Conviction Penalties

The Crown may file charges for criminal harassment as a hybrid offense under either a summary conviction or an indictment.

INDICTMENT CONVICTION: When charged as an indictable offence, the maximum penalty is 10 years imprisonment,

SUMMARY CONVICTION: When charged as a summary offence, the maximum penalty is up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Were You Charged With Criminal Harassment?

At Collett Read, we understand the gravity and stress associated with criminal harassment charges. Don’t face this challenge alone. Reach out to us for a confidential consultation today. Visit our contact page or call us at (905) 541-2228 for a free consultation. Let us help you navigate through this difficult time.