What is Criminal Harassment in Canada: Everything You Should Know

Criminal Harassment

According to Canadian Law, Criminal Harassment constitutes various actions that involve stalking, invading the privacy of a person, harassing them or following them intentionally. It basically involves anything that makes a person fear for their own safety or for the safety of someone they know.

Criminal Harassment is more commonly referred to as stalking and it involves a series of unwanted attempts such as following the victim or trying to communicate with them. The charges for criminal harassment can be laid against someone who is trying to establish unwanted contact with you or forcefully trying to pursue a relationship with the complainant. It does not even need to include any other outcome or course of action, such as theft, murder or fraud to be considered a crime in the Canadian court.

Stalking or criminal harassment can also include unwanted messages, phone calls, unsolicited communication, etc. Following the victim to their residence as well as their workplace is also a chargeable offense.

In Ontario, Criminal Harassment is not considered a mental disorder or a psychiatric disease but a way of having control over someone, in more common cases, it is generally a former partner. If the behavior of the person is repeated and unwanted overtime which has caused the victim to fear for their safety then the person can be charged with criminal harassment.

When a person is charged with criminal harassment then the prosecutor will need to prove the following points beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The offender was intentionally following the victim around, from place to place.
  • The offender was aware that his actions were unwanted
  • The offender was trying to establish unsolicited contact with the victim
  • The victim felt there for their safety or the safety of someone they know
  • The offender’s action harassed the victim
  • The offender engaged in activities that were prohibited as per the criminal code in any form
  • The offender was sending unsolicited messages to the complainant
  • The offender was forcefully trying to have a relationship with the complainant
  • The complainant felt that their privacy was invaded over a point where it was a criminal offense
  • The offender engaged himself or herself in a threatening behavior that has affected the victim or their family

While the Ontario Province is yet to define the word “harassed” in their criminal code. But it is generally interpreted to mean that the victim or the complainant felt threatened for their safety, worried, badgered, or troubled by the conduct of the accused.

The Ontario court also says that if the offender is conducting the unwarranted actions repeatedly to the point where it can be concluded as persistent harassment, and if the person harasses the complainant for a longer period of time throughout the course of prolonged and persistent interaction then it will automatically be concluded as a repeated element of the offense.

To present an example, if the person is following the victim for several hours in one day, or for a few hours for several days then he/she could be charged with an offense.

The Penalty for Criminal Harassment in Canada:

Criminal Harassment in CanadaThe section of the Criminal Code that includes Criminal Harassment was made to protect women in Canada. 76% of victims of this offense are generally women and studies have also found that 84% of the accused were men. It has also been observed that in some cases the offenders were several men.

In the Ontario province, if someone is found guilty of criminal harassment then they could face up to 10 years in prison the way of the indictment is followed. However, if the way of summary conviction is followed, then the offender can face up to 18 months in prison along with a $5000 fine.

Apart from spending time in jail, the offender can also receive restrictive ancillary orders, this can include receiving a prohobbition to carrry firearms or sometimes in more serious matters, the court can also order the offender to submit DHA order to a natiional bank that will register the person as a sex offender.

Have The Best Legal Advice At Hand

Criminal harassment cases can get messy pretty easily if not handled well. It can also be very difficult to protect yourself once you are charged with the offense. However, it’s not impossible and that is what David Genis Criminal Lawyer is proving with his excellent services. If you have charged with the same then your best bet to win the case would be to have an expert legal opinion at hand. Consult your case with only the best and get in touch with David Genis today.

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