Harassment is a crime in Maryland, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $500 dollar fine for a first offense, or up to 180 days and a $1000 dollar fine for a second or subsequent offense. It is also one of the offenses that can be the ground for the issuance of a Peace Order in Maryland. It’s important not to take these charges lightly, as they can be used dishonestly to attempt to use the legal system against someone who has not actually committed a crime. I have won harassment cases time and time again, and I can help you win your harassment case too.
The legal definition of harassment in Maryland is much more narrow than the plain English meaning of the word. Harassment is often an accusation made when a person wants to get someone else in trouble with the law, but the other person has not actually done anything unlawful. Even though many people use the word harassment to describe almost any behavior that they find annoying, only a small fraction of what most people would call harassment is actually a crime.
In order to commit the crime of harassment, you must either follow someone around in a public place or repeatedly act over a period of time with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other person. You must also have been given a reasonable warning to stop first. If you have a legal purpose, or if you act peaceably with the intent to express a political view or provide information, you are not guilty of harassment.
The First Amendment is an important bulwark against the use of the crime of harassment to stifle speech, which is a large part of the reason that harassment is defined and interpreted so much more narrowly than the common usage of the term would suggest.
There are many ways that I can defend you from an accusation of harassment, whether your situation involves a criminal case, a Peace Order, or both. Harassment cases frequently involve dishonest accusers who can be exposed by an effective cross-examination. There are also a number of specific exceptions in Maryland case law that I may be able to use to your benefit.
I have extensive experience successfully defending people from accusations of harassment, and I can use that expertise to defend your freedom and your reputation. Don’t wait until the last minute. Preparation is key to defending these cases successfully. An early start can make a big difference in the outcome. Please call me at (301) 556‑8709 right away so that we can get started.