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Harassment is one of the broadest charges an individual can face in Colorado, and it’s often used against someone when the police or the district attorney can’t find other criminal charges to pursue.

While many conflicts that result in harassment charges are minor, associated misdemeanor or felony convictions can have life-changing consequences. The Denver criminal defense lawyers at Wolf Law have extensive experience in harassment cases, and we take harassment charges very seriously—even if they stem from a seemingly trivial event.

If you’re facing harassment charges in Colorado, call Wolf Law at 720-479-8574 or contact us online for a free consultation.

How Does Colorado Define Harassment?

infograph about harassment charges in ColoradoColorado’s revised statute defines harassment in broad strokes, but it does specify that the perpetrator’s intent must be to harass, annoy or alarm another person.

Once intent is established, harassment may apply to:

  • Hitting, shoving, kicking, or other physical contact
  • Obscene language or gestures directed at another in a public place
  • Following another in a public place
  • Repeated phone calls with no intention of conversation
  • Engaging communication at inconvenient hours that interferes with the use and expected privacy of a person’s residence or private property
  • Persistent insults, taunts, challenges, or coarse language that is likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response

Colorado’s harassment statute defines certain terms in more detail. For example, “obscene” is defined as “a patently offensive description of ultimate sexual acts or solicitation to commit ultimate sexual acts…” Whether or not the acts are real or simulated, and regardless of whether the stated acts come to fruition is irrelevant for harassment charges to be filed.

Digital Harassment: Kiana Arellano’s law

In 2015, Colorado state legislators approved House Bill 1072, also known as Kiana Arellano’s Law. The law is named after a Highlands Ranch teen who was the victim of frequent cyberbullying attacks. She attempted suicide and survived, but was left permanently disabled.

Kiana Arellano’s Law was added to the harassment statute because lawmakers agreed that cyberbullying could transform into criminal harassment. The law prohibits obscene language, or language intended to harass or threaten bodily injury or property damage toward another person, anonymously or otherwise, by:

  • Telephone
  • Data network
  • Text or instant message
  • Computer or computer network
  • Other interactive electronic medium (such as social media)

Colorado Harassment Penalties

infograph representation of harassment penalties in ColoradoHarassment alone is charged as a class 3 misdemeanor, punishable by fines up to $750 and six months in county jail.

Harassment, however, becomes a class 1 misdemeanor if the perpetrator “commits harassment … with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin.” Class 1 misdemeanors are punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000.

Although harassment itself is a misdemeanor, it can escalate to potential felony charges. Harassment and stalking, for example, share similarities as criminal acts, but the penalties for stalking are more severe. A first-time stalking charge is a class 5 felony that is punishable by up to three years in jail and a maximum fine of $100,000.

Legal Defense for Harassment Charges

There are several legitimate defenses available to combat criminal harassment based on the circumstances of the charges. Defenses in Colorado harassment cases include but are not limited to:

  • The accused did not make the communication as reported
  • The accused made no physical contact with the alleged victim
  • The accused did to intend to annoy, harm, or alarm anyone
  • The communication in question was not obscene or offensive
  • The described harassment was not motivated by race, religion, ancestry, or national origin
  • The communication was constitutionally protected (i.e., political protest, customer complaint, etc.)

Colorado’s harassment statute is specific in that it is “not intended to infringe upon any right guaranteed to any person by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution or to prevent the expression of any religious, political, or philosophical views.”

If you’ve been charged with harassment in Colorado, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands the intricacies of the state’s harassment law. Please call Wolf Law at 720-479-8574 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.

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I got my first DUI in April when I fell asleep in my car because I couldn’t get inside my house. I knew I needed a lawyer to help me fight the case but I was really hesitant on who I wanted to hire. I came across Jeffrey Wolf and I couldn’t be any happier that I chose him to represent me. Jeffrey is not only very professional but he can also relate to you on a personal level. Since it was my first offense I had no idea what to expect or what I was doing. He guided me through the whole process and I was very pleased with the results. He was able to convince the Judge to let me off with 6 months of unsupervised probation and level 1 education classes. Jeffrey is very loyal and a wonderful lawyer, definitely hiring him again if need be.

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I have hired Colleen previously and she did wonders including case dismissal. The flat rate fee is such a wonderful carefree situation. I wouldn’t trust anyone else when it comes to felony legal matters.

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When I had charges pending against me, I had a free consultation with many attorneys and ultimately hired Jeff wolf as my formal representation. Most of the attorneys’ capabilities were relatively equal, but what stuck out with Jeff was his ethics and personal investment in my outcome.

From the beginning he tried to get a thorough sense of who I was in society and represent that to the judge for sentencing. In court he pleaded my case and balanced remorse for the action with any positive attributes to gain a favorable outcome. He is well spoken and respected in court.

I liked that his payment model worked through stages that he “earned” along the way. I had a clear understanding of what to expect from him, from the court, and the most likely requirements of my sentence. And when I didn’t understand or had additional questions on one part (and I had many) he took the time to explain and discuss the options and his recommendation with me.

He had a thorough knowledge of the system and its players as well as knowledge on unusual factors related to my specific case, and he made well-thought-out recommendations with reasoning but ultimately let me make the final decision.

The result of my case was quite favorable thanks to Jeff. Great lawyer, highly recommend.

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I contacted Mr. Wolf through a reference from a separate out-of-county attorney’s office. I was very pleased with his professional attitude and staff, but mostly the results he was able to achieve for my case. I would definitely recommend Jeff and hire him again if I ever need to.

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Fortunately, I don’t find myself needing legal representation often…only once before have I needed an attorney. My situation was interesting…I was given a disorderly conduct summons and felt it was far beyond the pale in terms of its validity. I didn’t want this on my record and needed help navigating the legal process. I did some research on a few attorneys and read about Jeff Wolf’s practice. I called Jeff and we spoke the same day. He listened to me and I met with him a few days later. He took the time to explain his process and approach, which made sense to me and seemed to be in the right dollar range for what we were dealing with. Thankfully, my case was dismissed. Jeff took the time to show the DA that there were inconsistencies all over the place and that there was no way I was guilty…likely shouldn’t have even been issued a summons. As I said to Jeff, I hope I never have to talk with him again, but I won’t hesitate to call if need be.

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I am nothing but pleased with the service, trustworthiness, advice, compassion, and hard work that Wolf Law has provided me with. My case lasted for about six months in 2019. I had charges regarding the developing laws concerning marijuana in Colorado. Originally I wasted four months with a lawyer who made the already stressful and unfortunate situation ever more challenging and miserable. It was a blessing to meet Jeff! He was able to reach a resolution with the Colorado Springs DA that would allow me to have a chance in the future. Every step of the way he was patient, present, persistent, and a pleasure to work with. I drove all the way from Colorado Springs to find a lawyer that would fight for justice to the best of their ability and Jeff Wolf was that person – a person who cares about his clients and their lives. He did his job without judgment and exuded understanding and encouragement throughout. It is difficult to find people who are willing to genuinely help others and keep them positive. My hope is that if you find yourself in a situation where you are seeking legal counsel, please give Jeff’s firm a call. I cannot thank him enough for his kindness and work through this difficult time.

— S.M.

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Jeff was a terrific advocate while representing me through my DWAI. He was professional. I am convinced that it was his prior trial experience and effective communication skills that secured a much more desirable sentence than I had expected. I am positive that Jeff’s representation made it so that I could keep my job.

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