Harassment

Respected Criminal Defense Attorney Dedicated to Aggressively Defending Clients Charged with Domestic Violence Offenses

Harassment isn’t strictly a domestic violence crime, but many alleged cases of harassment come up in this context. Under Alabama law, harassment involves taking certain actions that are designed to harass, annoy, or alarm another person. By default, harassment is a misdemeanor; however, the offense is a more serious misdemeanor if committed against a family or household member. Additionally, if you have two prior domestic violence convictions (for harassment or any other DV offense), you’ll face felony charges. 

The Stoves Law Firm, P.C., is a Birmingham criminal defense firm dedicated to advocating on behalf of clients charged with serious felony and misdemeanor crimes.  Attorney Jason Stoves has more than 25 years of hands-on experience successfully crafting compelling defenses in complex and high-stakes cases in all types of DV cases, including those involving allegations of domestic violence harassment and harassing communications.

What Is Domestic Violence Harassment in Alabama?

In Alabama, domestic violence harassment is legally defined as engaging in conduct or actions that are intended to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, specifically a family or household member.

Harassment focuses on behavior that is threatening, intimidating, or repeatedly bothersome and is carried out with no legitimate purpose. For example, if you make repeated phone calls to someone with the intent to intimidate or upset them, or if you follow someone around in a manner that causes them distress, you could be accused of harassment.

In Alabama, harassment can be verbal, written, or physical. Sending threatening messages, making offensive comments, or physically intimidating someone can all fall under the umbrella of harassment. It’s important to understand that the intent behind the action is key; the behavior must be intended to cause distress or fear in another person.

What Is the Punishment for DV Harassment in Alabama?

The punishment for DV harassment in Alabama can vary, depending on the nature of the allegations against you. Outside of the domestic violence context, harassment is considered a Class C misdemeanor. If convicted, you could face up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500. However, under Alabama Code § 13A-6-132, harassment is a Class A misdemeanor when committed against a family or household member. Alabama law considers any of the following family or household members:

  • Current or former spouses,
  • Parents or stepparents,
  • Children or stepchildren,
  • Any person with whom you have a child in common,
  • Anyone you currently live with, or
  • Anyone with whom you currently have or previously had a dating relationship.

Moreover, if you have prior convictions or if the harassment involved a protective order violation, the consequences can be more severe, including increased fines and longer incarceration periods.

Given these potential consequences, it is essential to enlist the help of a Birmingham domestic violence harassment lawyer as soon as possible.

How to Defend Against Harassment Charges

Defending against harassment charges typically involves relying on one or more of the following strategies.

Self-Defense: Argue that your actions were a necessary response to protect yourself from immediate harm, showing that the alleged harassment was taken in self-defense. However, if the other person’s conduct was only verbal, self-defense will not excuse a physical assault.

Lack of Intent: Demonstrate that there was no intent to harass, annoy, or alarm the other person, which is a critical element required to establish harassment under Alabama law.

False Accusations: Present evidence that the accuser has fabricated the charges or has a motive to lie, such as a contentious divorce or custody battle, to undermine the credibility of the allegations.

Insufficient Evidence: Challenge the prosecution’s case by highlighting the lack of concrete evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the actions constituted harassment.

Consent: Show that the alleged victim consented to the behavior or communication, thus negating the claim of harassment as it was not unwelcome or alarming.

Of course, determining which harassment defense applies best in your case requires a detailed analysis of the allegations against you. Thus, it’s best to work with an experienced Birmingham domestic violence harassment lawyer to review your options.

Are You Facing Harassment Charges?

If you were recently charged with domestic violence harassment, the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. can help. For more than 25 years, Attorney Jason Stoves has worked closely with his clients to create compelling defenses to domestic violence charges, including stalking harassment offenses. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients and are immediately available to meet with you to discuss your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. at (205) 823-7233, or you can connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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