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The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) – Harassment Defense Lawyer – Attorney

By H. Michael Steinberg Denver Colorado Harassment Criminal Defense Lawyer

The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) - Harassment Defense Lawyer - Attorney

The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) – Harassment Defense Lawyer – Attorney

The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) – Harassment Defense Lawyer – Attorney – When a police officer – empowered under Colorado law – reaches into his quiver of possible criminal charges and selects 18-9-11 harassment for your ticket – summons – it often means the case is otherwise weak.

Harassment is one of those charges that I call a “kitchen sink” charge. While the law permits it to be charged in different ways – the crime is most filed as a class 3 misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 6 months in county jail.

What Does It Mean To Be Charged With The Crime of Harassment in Colorado?

Not only is it a kitchen sink charge – it has been repeatedly challenged as being unconstitutionally vague by the laws very terms – it has been repeatedly applied in violation of specific constitutional rights – such as the First Amendment right to free speech.

Colorado Domestic Violence Harassment Charges

These days the crime of harassment is most often charged in Colorado Domestic Violence cases. An angry or jealous spouse or girlfriend, an “ex” seeking revenge for poor or insensitive treatment and the police are called.  Suddenly you find yourself in jail charged with Harassment 18-9-111 or the equivalent municipal charge in cities such as Aurora, Denver, Westminster, Colorado Springs, or Parker.

Fighting Harassment Charges Starts With The Charge Itself

Section 1 (a) Harassment— “Strike, Shove, Kick… “

In Colorado Domestic Violence cases, if any physical contact is made between the alleged victim and the accused and there is a denial by the alleged victim of any “physical pain” (the police actually will ask the alleged victim this by the way – “did you feel pain?”) you can expect a Section (1)(A) charge harassment of the  “strike, shove, or kick. 18-9-111(1)(a)” variety.

But Colorado’s Harassment Law – 18-9-111 actually has several sections – each defining alternatives as to how the crime can be committed. My advice to anyone charged with any crime is to study the LAW yourself and compare it to your actions and common sense.

The law is for everyone -not just lawyers – IF you are charged with ANY crime – read the law first – here is the crime of harassment in Colorado:

The Colorado Crime of Harassment As A Misdemeanor (Not Felony Stalking)

Harassment (18-9-111)

1 . A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:

(a) Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact; or

(b) In a public place directs obscene language or makes an obscene gesture to or at another person; or

(c) Follows a person in or about a public place; or

(e) Initiates communication with a person, anonymously or otherwise by telephone, computer, computer network, or computer system in a manner intended to harass or threaten bodily injury or property damage, or makes any comment, request, suggestion, or proposal by telephone, computer, computer network, or computer system that is obscene; or

(f) Makes a telephone call or causes a telephone to ring repeatedly, whether or not a conversation ensues, with no purpose of legitimate conversation; or

(g) Makes repeated communications at inconvenient hours that invade the privacy of another and interfere in the use and enjoyment of another’s home or private residence or other private property; or

(h) Repeatedly insults, taunts, challenges, or makes communications in offensively coarse language to, another in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response.

(1.5) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, “obscene” means a patently offensive description of ultimate sexual acts or solicitation to commit ultimate sexual acts, whether or not said ultimate sexual acts are normal or perverted, actual or simulated, including masturbation, cunnilingus, fellatio, anilingus, or excretory functions.

2. Harassment pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is a class 3 misdemeanor; except that harassment is a class 1 misdemeanor if the offender commits harassment pursuant to subsection

(1) of this section with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin.

3.Any act prohibited by paragraph (e) of subsection (1) of this section may be deemed to have occurred or to have been committed at the place at which the telephone call, electronic mail, or other electronic communication was either made or received.


The Highest Mental State For Any Colorado Crime – Intent – An Intentional Act

In most criminal cases there are only four possible mental states.

The highest of these mental state is the mental state of intent – that is when the individual specifically intended the consequences of his or her actions.

If the act or the behavior was NOT intended – under subsection 18-9-111(1) there can be no crime.

The charge of Harassment in Colorado requires that the “specific intent” of the accused be established beyond a reasonable doubt or there can be no conviction. Therefore for sections 1(a) – through 1(g) –  if there is no intent to commit the behavior prohibited in those sections – no crime was committed.

The First Amendment protects free speech. But even free speech may cross the line and enter into the unprotected form of speech known as “fighting words” under subsection 1(h) .

Cyber-bullying /Cyber-Stalking Can Be Charged As Harassment

The use of the electronic creation of criminally harassing behavior is addressed in the law at Section 18-9-111(e). Harassment can occur where the accused has used ANY electronic device – such as a phone or computer – to communicate threats.

The most recent of these cases is the use of social media – such as FACEBOOK – to harass an individual and invade their privacy.

Harassment via email, texting, TWITTER or INSTAGRAM is also becoming more and more prevalent especially among young people.

Colorado Hate Crimes and Special Victims As Harassment Section 18-9-111(2)(1) CRS

Colorado’s harassment laws enhance the sentence from a class 3 misdemeanor to a class 1 misdemeanor to protect certain identifiable classes of persons. Known as Hate Crime Harassment – an individual who commits a harassing act with the intent to intimidate or harass another person because of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, ancestry, or national origin – is guilty of Hate Crime Harassment.

Common Defenses To Harassment In Colorado Criminal Courts 18-9-111 CRS

  • Free speech (see above)
  • Unintended Consequences – where there is no INTENT to commit a harassing act against another.
  • Non- Fighting Words – Just “Puffing” – If there is no immediacy in a threat – “someday I am going to kick your butt John.” (This is not a crime since the threat is based on a possible future act that may never be carried out).

The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) – Harassment Defense Lawyer – Attorney – The Easiest False Allegation There Is – Harassment

In the “he said – she said” world of human relations – harassment is the – as I noted above – “kitchen sink” of all criminal charges. The vague nature of the charge makes it a favorite of law enforcement, but juries rarely like the charge specifically because of that vagueness.

Juries hold prosecutors to a high standard of proof in the trial of harassment cases because the charge IS so very vague they can see themselves charged with that very crime. If the alleged criminal behavior is criminally “harassing” –  it had better for example – be much more than an annoying ex-boyfriend seeking a date.

Any conviction that is criminal in nature should be closely examined for possible motivations on the part of the accuser to bring charges.

Investigation of these cases should include:

  • searching for any and all possible witnesses,
  • identifying the motive of the accusing person, and
  • uncovering all supporting documents and testimony that supports the defense in a case where the allegations are patently false and fraudulent.

The Bottom Line – Don’t Fold Because A Plea Bargain Is Easy

While there are no “bright line rules” on what is or is not harassment and every harassment case will turn on that case’s individual facts and circumstances, the analysis is always the same:

  • What is the evidence offered by the state?
  • Who is making the accusation and why?
  • Is there any supporting or corroborating physical evidence?
  • Is there any evidence of motive to fabricate the allegations?

This analysis should always also take into account factors such as the age, gender, occupation, and the relationship between the parties.

Being a jerk – while offensive – is NOT a crime. Thoughtless – even insensitive words – alone do not constitute harassment. The line in the sand between what is insensitive and what is the Colorado crime of harassment 1809-111 – may be hard to draw and needs to be aggressively defended.

The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) – Harassment Defense Lawyer – Attorney

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: H. Michael SteinbergEmail The AuthorA Denver Colorado Harassment Crimes Criminal Defense Lawyer – or call his office at 303-627-7777 during business hours – or call his cell if you cannot wait and need his immediate assistance – 720-220-2277.

If you are charged with A Colorado crime or you have questions about The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) – Harassment Defense Lawyer – Attorney, please call our office. The Law Offices of H. Michael Steinberg, in Denver, Colorado, provide criminal defense clients with effective, efficient, intelligent and strong legal advocacy. We can educate you and help you navigate the stressful and complex legal process related to your criminal defense issue.

Colorado Criminal Defense LawH. Michael Steinberg, is a Denver, Colorado criminal defense lawyer with over 30 years of day to day courtroom experience – specializing in Colorado Criminal Law along the Front Range. He will provide you with a free initial case consultation to evaluate your legal issues and to answer your questions with an honest assessment of your options. Remember, it costs NOTHING to discuss your case. Call now for an immediate free phone consultation.

Helping Clients To Make Informed Decisions In the Defense of Colorado Criminal Cases.

Contact A Lawyer with Three Decades of Experience as a Denver Criminal Attorney at The Steinberg Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm Today.

Colorado Defense Lawyer H. Michael Steinberg provides solid criminal defense for clients throughout the Front Range of Colorado – including the City and County courts of Adams County, Arapahoe County, City and County of Boulder, City and County of Broomfield, City and County of Denver, Douglas County, El Paso County – Colorado Springs, Gilpin County, Jefferson County, Larimer County, and Weld County,.. and all the other cities and counties of Colorado along the I-25 Corridor… on cases involving …The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) – Harassment Defense Lawyer – Attorney.

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The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) - Harassment Defense Lawyer - Attorney
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The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) - Harassment Defense Lawyer - Attorney
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The Denver Colorado Crime of Harassment (18-9-111) - Harassment Defense Lawyer - Attorney - When a police officer - empowered under Colorado law - reaches into his quiver of possible criminal charges and selects 18-9-11 harassment for your ticket - summons - it often means the case is otherwise weak.
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H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
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