In most criminal harassment cases, the complainant contacts the police with information about the actions of the accused which triggers an investigation that may lead to charges being laid. A pattern of behaviour must be demonstrated.
The conduct prohibited as criminal harassment includes:
- Repeatedly following a person place to place; or
- Repeatedly communicating with a person directly or indirectly; or
- Watching them in either their home or place of work; or
- Watching them in either their home or place of work of someone they know; or
- Engaging in threatening conduct directed at the complainant or their family.
If a criminal lawyer can raise a reasonable doubt about any of the essential elements of the offence, the accused is entitled to be found not guilty.
To prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, the prosecution must show a pattern of behaviour that falls into one of the above-noted categories. They must show that the complainant, as a result of the behaviour of the accused, feared for their own safety or of anyone known to them and that the accused knew or was reckless or was wilfully blind as to whether the complainant was harassed.
The judge must be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused engaged in the prohibitive conduct, that the complainant was indeed harassed, that the defendant was at a minimum wilfully blind or reckless as to whether the complainant was harassed, and that the conduct caused the complainant to reasonably fear.
Facing Criminal Charges?
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, Maureen Currie will vigorously defend you. Maureen Currie is an experienced criminal lawyer, who has represented individuals charged with criminal offences in Milton, Mississauga, Hamilton, Georgetown, Burlington, Guelph, the Niagara Region and throughout Ontario.