In Kentucky, harassment is a crime that can result in significant legal penalties – including jail time. With that said, jail time is not mandatory, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can help you navigate Kentucky’s court system and work to keep you out of jail and put these charges behind you.
Types of Harassment in Kentucky
“Harassment” is described as an act done with the intent to intimidate, harass, annoy or alarm another person.
Harassment in Kentucky can take several forms, but it is generally classified into three broad categories: (1) harassment with physical contact, (2) harassment without physical contact, and (3) harassing communications.
- Harassment with physical contact, on the other hand, refers to any form of harassment that involves physical harm, sexual advances, or touching. Examples of harassment with physical contact include assault, battery, sexual assault, and sexual battery.
- Harassment without physical contact refers to any form of harassment that does not involve physical harm or touching. Examples of harassment without physical contact include offensive speech, verbal altercations and attempts to physically touch the other person (think: “swing and a miss”).
- Harassing communications are precisely what you would think – harassment done by use of some communication tool. Think phone, email, texting, messaging or any other communication medium of the like.
It is worth noting that harassment charges in Kentucky may be brought against an individual regardless of their relationship with the victim. This means that harassment can occur between strangers, acquaintances, friends and even family.
Understanding the different types of harassment is essential when it comes to building a defense strategy or seeking legal action.
There are a number of other situations which some may consider “harassment,” but will likely be charged under other, more-specific statutes. Some of these common forms of “harassment” are:
- Sexual harassment.
- Cyber threats.
- Verbal assault.
For acts that do lead to criminal charges for harassment, we look to KRS 525 for how these charges will be handled.
If a person gets naked or displays their sexual organs in front of someone else without their consent, they may be charged with indecent exposure. It is also sexual misconduct if someone hounds an uninterested party for sexual favors while ignoring the other party’s non-verbal cues of disinterest or discomfort.
Penalties for Harassment in Kentucky
Penalties for a harassment conviction in Kentucky can range from fines to imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offense:
- Under Kentucky law, harassment with physical contact and harassing communications are Class B misdemeanors. That means that the penalty is a fine of up to $250 and up to 90 days in jail.
- Harassment without physical contact is a violation and can result in a fine of up to $250.
Defenses Against Harassment Charges in Kentucky
If you are facing harassment criminal charges in Kentucky, there are several defenses that you can assert depending on the circumstances of your case. While it would be impossible to list all potential defenses, here are just a few of the possible defenses against harassment charges in Kentucky:
- Lack of Intent: One of the essential elements of harassment is that the conduct must be intentional. If you can prove that you did not intend to harass the victim, it can be a valid defense against harassment charges.
- Lack of Evidence: The prosecution must provide sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense. If the evidence is weak or circumstantial, your attorney may argue that there is simply not enough evidence to support the charges.
- Self-Defense: If you were acting in self-defense or defending someone else against physical harm, it can be a valid defense against harassment charges.
- Constitutional Violations: If the evidence against you was obtained through an unlawful search or seizure or in violation of your constitutional rights, your attorney may argue that the evidence should be suppressed and not be used against you in court.
- False Accusations: In some cases, the victim may make false accusations of harassment out of spite, revenge, or other motives. Your attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the allegations and argue that the charges are baseless.
These are just some of the possible defenses against harassment charges in Kentucky. It is crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can assess the facts of your case and build a strong defense strategy.
What to Do if You Are Facing Harassment Charges in Kentucky
If you are facing harassment charges in Kentucky, the first thing you should do is seek legal assistance from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Your attorney can help you understand your legal options and guide you through the legal process.
It is also important to avoid making any statements or admissions to the police or the prosecution without consulting your attorney first. Anything you say can be used against you in court, so it is best to let your attorney handle all communication with the government.
Seek Legal Assistance: Contact a Kentucky Attorney if You are Facing Harassment
Certain types of harassment – harassment with physical contact and harassing communications – are Class B misdemeanors in Kentucky. This means that the penalties for violating those laws can include jail time.
Often, an experienced attorney will be able to help you stay out of jail on harassment charges. It is also possible that your attorney could negotiate having the charges completely dropped and removed from your record altogether. As with anything, there is no real way to know until the attorney reviews all of the evidence in your particular case.
Be sure to share all of the facts of your case with your attorney to put them in the best position to help you fight the charges and put your case behind you.
Legal Defenses to Sexual Harassment and Misconduct
Given how possible it is for your image and livelihood to be destroyed by such claims in our present climate, you should have an experienced Lexington sexual misconduct attorney on your side if you have been accused of this, even if it’s your workplace or someplace else. If you are facing charges or an investigation for peeping or any other sex crime, you will need an experienced criminal defense lawyer. But what precisely is sexual misconduct? CIR Legal wants you to be informed and supported while dealing with the law in Lexington.
Are you looking for a defense lawyer in Lexington, Kentucky? Save time and find the reliable team you need today. You deserve an effective defense.
Disclaimer: “Please remember that all situations are different. This blog is advertising material and is not legal advice. This blog and the use of this website do not create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like to receive a legal opinion or legal advice regarding your situation, you must speak directly to an attorney.”