What is harassment in regard to the Criminal Code?

In order for a behaviour to be considered as criminal harassment, certain criteria have to be met.

First of all, the person that harass has to adopt a certain type of behaviour towards the plaintiff or one of his/her acquaintances. The following actions correspond to this type of behaviour:

  • repeatedly following from place to place the other person or anyone known to them;
  • repeatedly communicating with, either directly or indirectly, the other person or anyone known to them;
  • besetting or watching the dwelling-house, or place where the other person, or anyone known to them, resides, works, carries on business or happens to be; or
  • engaging in threatening conduct directed at the other person or any member of their family.

Concerning the last two points, it must be noted that, depending on the gravity of the act, the behaviour might have to be repetitive to amount to criminal harassment. But bear in mind that in certain cases, one single move from your part could lead to criminal accusations.

Secondly, because of this act, the plaintiff must feel harassed.

Thirdly, the act in question must cause the plaintiff to fear for his/her security and for that of his/her acquaintances.

Fourthly, this fear must be reasonable in regard to the circumstances.

Fifthly, the accused must act knowing that another person is harassed or recklessly as to whether the other person is harassed

Intimidation under the Criminal Code

As you may have noticed, various criteria have to be met in order to amount to criminal harassment. As a consequence, not all form of intimidation will be considered a criminal offense.

Bullying at work

It is not all forms of bullying are considered crimes. As an example, a situation of psychological or sexual bullying committed on a work place, by a work colleague, under the Act respecting Labour Standards is not necessarily a crime under the criminal code.

Harassment in the technological era

As mentioned above, communicating repeatedly with a person could lead to a harassment complaint. In the current era of technology and social media, we have the possibility to communicate instantly on a very large network. As a consequence, the cases of harassment through text messages or social media are more and more frequent. When an offense is committed by the means of a computer, we then speak of cybercrime. This type of case requires specific attention because, once the history of the conversation is revealed, it is very easy to demonstrate the harassing behavior.  At Riendeau Attorneys-at-law, we frequently treat cases about cybercrime and we will be able to defend your interests.

The sentences following a conviction

If you are found guilty of this crime, you are liable to a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. It is therefore crucial to be represented by an experienced lawyer that will devote his time and expertise in order to obtain the best sentence for you.

Has someone made a complaint against you to the police and are you the subject of an accusation of criminal harassment?

Don’t hesitate to contact Riendeau Attorneys-at-law! Our lawyers will defend you vigorously and will do everything in order for you to be acquitted or avoid a criminal record. Contact our office in order to get know your chances of success and the various steps to accomplish in order to resolve your case.