Charged in a harassment case?

Contact Van Severen Law Office for award-winning criminal defense at (414) 270-0202.

Harassment can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony in Wisconsin.  It’s important that you have a criminal defense attorney on your side, looking out for your best interests while facing any criminal conviction.  Harassment is often charged in domestic violence situations.  The addition of domestic violence penalties makes hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney even more important.  We’ve defended harassment cases.  Our defense attorneys would like to talk to you about your situation.  Contact defense firm Van Severen Law Office, at (414) 270-0202.

What is harassment?

Different punishment levels provide harassment definitions.  The offense, and those penalties, along with definitions are found in section 947.013 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

The offense is a Class B forfeiture if, with intent to harass or intimidate another person, does any of the following:

  • Strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the person to physical contact or attempts or threatens to do the same.
  • Engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which harass or intimidate the person and which serve no legitimate purpose.

Harassment is a Class A misdemeanor if the Class B forfeiture offense if any of the following occur:

  • The act is accompanied by a credible threat that places the victim in reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm.
  • The act occurs while the actor is subject to an order or injunction under s. 813.12, 813.122 or 813.125 that prohibits or limits his or her contact with the victim.

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Harassment can be a felony.

Class I felony penalties can apply to stalking charges.  First, the Class A misdemeanor elements need to be satisfied.  Second, the defendant must have a prior conviction for stalking or harassment involving the same victim.  Finally, the new offense must occur within 7 years of the prior conviction to count as a felony.

It’s a Class H felony if the defendant intentionally gains access to a record in electronic format that contains personally identifiable information regarding the victim in order to facilitate the harassment.  Additionally, prosecutors must show the elements of Class I felony stalking.

Finally, there’s another way to reach Class H felony charges.  All of the following must occur:

  1. The defendant has a prior stalking or harassment conviction; and
  2. The defendant intentionally gains access to a record in order to facilitate the new violation.

Important definitions:

  • course of conduct means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evincing a continuity of purpose.
  • credible threat means a threat made with the intent and apparent ability to carry out the threat.
  • Personally identifiable information is information that can be associated with a particular individual through one or more identifiers or other information or circumstances.
  • Record: any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual, or electromagnetic information or electronically generated or stored data is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that has been created or is being kept by an authority.

How do we win my harassment case?

First, it’s not harassment if the conduct is in regard to a labor dispute.  This built-in protection allows for things like individuals striking in employment situations.  Call us immediately if you charge involves a labor dispute.  Assuming your conduct does not qualify as some other crime, you shouldn’t be facing a conviction.

Otherwise there are a variety of ways to win a harassment case.  It’s important to recognize that harassment cases involve the defendant and another person.  That other person is often another member of the community.  Usually not a cop.  Sometimes somebody you’ve had a relationship with.  Humans have credibility issues, and a good defense attorney is going to bring those credibility issues up.  If those credibility issues cause the fact finder (judge or jury) to disbelieve that witness, you may have just won your case.

A man following a woman in a tunnel
Harassment includes stalking-like activities, and is illegal in Wisconsin.

We’ve defended harassment cases.

Our criminal defense lawyers have defended harassment cases.  If you’d like an experienced Wisconsin defense attorney on your team, contact us now.  If you’re serious about your case, contact defense law firm Van Severen Law Office to discuss your case.  You can reach our law firm 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.

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