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If you were charged with harassment then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Our attorneys are experienced in representing clients on a wide variety of criminal offenses such as criminal harassment, stalking, and cyberstalking.

Philadelphia Harassment Lawyer

We defend clients charged with the serious crime of harassment throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the surrounding areas of Bucks County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Delaware County, PA. Call (215) 665-1695 today to discuss your case.

Pennsylvania Harassment Overview

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Elements of Pennsylvania's Harassment Statute

Under Pennsylvania's statute for harassment, 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2709, requires proof of the intent to harass, annoy or alarm another. Elements of the offense require proof that the person accused committed one of the following acts:

  • strikes, shoves, kicks or otherwise subjects the other person to physical contact, or attempts or threatens to do the same;
  • follows the other person in or about a public place or places;
  • engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which serve no legitimate purpose;
  • communicates to or about such other person any lewd, lascivious, threatening or obscene words, language, drawings or caricatures;
  • communicates repeatedly in an anonymous manner;
  • communicates repeatedly at extremely inconvenient hours; or
  • communicates repeatedly in a manner other than specified in paragraphs (4), (5) and (6).

Venue for a charge of harassment is proper in either the place where the communication was made or the place where the communication was received.

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Classification of Harassment Charges

In most cases, harassment is charged as a summary offense. The allegations can be charged as a third degree misdemeanor under 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 2709(a)(4), (5), (6) or (7).

Additionally, the offense under § 2709(a)(1), (2) or (3) can be enhanced one degree if the person has previously violated an order issued under 23 Pa.C.S. § 6108 related to relief involving the same victim, family or household member.
Under Section 2709, if a person knowingly gives false information to any law enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another for harassment, then the person making the false report commits an offense under section 4906 (relating to false reports to law enforcement authorities).

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Definitions under the Harassment Statute

The term “family or household member” includes any of the following:

  • spouses or persons who have been spouses (an ex-husband or ex-wife);
  • persons living as spouses or who lived as spouses;
  • parents and children;
  • other persons related by consanguinity or affinity;
  • current or former sexual or intimate partners; or
  • persons who share biological parenthood.

The term "course of conduct” means a "pattern of actions composed of more than one act over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of conduct."

The term “communicates” includes oral statements, written statement, and even nonverbal communications. It also includes telephone calls and messages, as well as electronic or cyber communications. Electronic communications can include electronic mail, Internet, facsimile, telex, or wireless communication.

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Finding a Harassment Criminal Defense Attorney in Philadelphia, PA

If you are charged with harassment or related charges for stalking or cyberstalking then contact an experienced criminal defense at Alva Foster & Moscow, LLC. We represent clients throughout Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas of Bucks County, Chester County, Montgomery County and Delaware County, PA.