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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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Jeff provided excellent legal advice and guided my situation to a very desirable outcome. He was in frequent contact via phone and email throughout the process, answered all of the questions that I had, and gave me the ability to confidently choose the best outcome for my circumstances. Legal issues are scary, complicated, and stressful but Jeff reduces all those negatives and makes you feel like someone has your back. Would highly recommend his services if you ever find yourself in need of criminal defense.

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Jeff Wolf was recommended to me by a colleague I have known since my youth. Accordingly, I met with Jeff. I also met with other attorneys in the Denver area in preparation for my legal issues. I decided to choose Jeff because I had a good feeling about him from the moment I met him and because his ethics and views regarding the vision for his legal practice were aligned with what I hoped for despite having no experience in the legal system previously.

This decision turned out to be one of the the best I have made in my life…literally. I cannot adequately express here how much Jeff’s hard work, determination, knowledge, professionalism, experience, and clear understanding of what I am certain he has a passion for (helping others beyond just being an attorney and defending clients in court) has meant for me. I think he has exceptional skills. I had a great outcome in my case due to the defense Jeff provided in court.

More importantly however, Jeff helped me manage the emotional and professional stress I felt. Jeff reassured me when I most needed reassurance, and ultimately, transform a situation I initially felt was a life changing event into a learning experience that I was able to navigate successfully through his precise and comprehensive guidance. I would recommend Jeff to any member of my family and certainly to anyone to whom his services would apply.

— C. Jackson

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I would highly recommend attorney Jeffrey Wolf. He consistently demonstrates knowledge and professionalism, both in and out of the courtroom. His expertise helped me to understand the legal process. As a victim of domestic violence, I looked to Mr. Wolf to assist me in obtaining a restraining order. His compassion combined with skill helped me to feel safe again.  I reached a positive outcome in my case and felt informed, confident, and cared for with Mr. Wolf in my corner.

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Jeff accepted a traffic violation case with not a ton of time to prepare. He provided clear instructions on how to proceed with the initial hearing in order for this individual to receive an extension and time to gain attorney representation. From there, he continued take the extra steps necessary to not only communicate effectively and clearly but also provide a level of advocacy that was necessary for this vulnerable individual! Thanks Jeff — Your work, patience and understanding is greatly appreciated!

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Jeffrey Wolf handled my traffic violation in a highly professional manner, giving it the same consideration and time as a more challenging case, during a very stressful time in my life. As soon as the accident happened, he was there to offer advice and help. He went to court for me, so I would not have to take time off of work to go. His care and concern for my well-being was top-notch. Thank you so much, Jeff!

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I hired Mr. Wolf to represent me in my efforts to obtain a permanent civil protection order against the person who committed a crime against me. This person is currently incarcerated for the crime but is being considered for parole. Due to Mr. Wolf’s criminal law background, and his outstanding attorney ratings, I believed him to be the best legal professional to successfully represent my safety and security concerns in court. I was not wrong!!

Mr. Wolf expertly and succinctly prepared the protection order paperwork on my behalf, prepared me for my court appearance in a direct and as complete a manner as possible, and successfully represented me in court. He also expressed sincere kindness towards me from the day I hired him to the conclusion of my case. Another attorney without a criminal law background may have been able to have successfully obtained a permanent civil protection order on my behalf; however, I was unwilling to take that chance given the criminal background of my case. I will be forever grateful to Mr. Wolf for his successful representation of me, and for making my safety and security one of his top priorities.

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