There are a number of criminal offenses which are often used in retaliation against someone. Investigating officers often have little information on the credibility of the claims of the victim and charges will almost always be brought if an alleged victim provides the officers with sufficient information to bring forth a harassment charge – regardless of the truthfulness of the charge. Ironically, false harassment charges can be used to harass anyone. If you have been charged with harassment in Nashville or a surrounding county, it is critical that you consult with a Criminal Attorney in Nashville about the facts of your case. The legal system is not designed to help those charged with a crime and can be very difficult to obtain a favorable outcome without a criminal attorney. The prosecutor recognizes you don’t have an attorney present and will commonly provide less than favorable outcomes for those charged with a crime. Our criminal attorneys offer free consultations for all criminal cases in Nashville and Cheatham, Robertson, Sumner, Wilson, Williamson, Dickson and Rutherford County, TN.
What is Harassment in Tennessee?
In Tennessee, the criminal charge of harassment can be brought when:
- Threatening someone to take an unlawful or illegal action against them
- Placing phone calls anonymously, or at hours known to be inconvenient to the victim without a legitimate purpose
- Telling someone by phone that a relative or other person has been injured, killed or is ill when the communication is known to be false
- Communications with the malicious intent or in a manner the defendant knows or should know would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress AND as a result of the communication, the person is frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed
Is Harassment a Misdemeanor in Tennessee?
A harassment charge in Tennessee is a Class A misdemeanor UNLESS you have been previously convicted of harassment and that case has not been disposed of (ie: you are still incarcerated, on pre-trial diversion, probation, community correction or parole) and you communicate with the victim (or the victim’s next of kin if the victim died as a result of the offense) in a manner consistent with harassment, you can be charged with a Class E felony in Tennessee.
If you have been charged with Harassment in Nashville, contact our Nashville Criminal Attorneys today for a FREE CONSULTATION about your case. Call our law office today at (615) 829 – 8259.
Harassment Law in Tennessee
Tennessee Code Annotated 39-17-308(Harassment):
(a) A person commits an offense who intentionally:
(1) Threatens, by telephone, in writing or by electronic communication, including, but not limited to, text messaging, facsimile transmissions, electronic mail or Internet services, to take action known to be unlawful against any person and by this action knowingly annoys or alarms the recipient;
(2) Places one (1) or more telephone calls anonymously, or at an hour or hours known to be inconvenient to the victim, or in an offensively repetitious manner, or without a legitimate purpose of communication, and by this action knowingly annoys or alarms the recipient;
(3) Communicates by telephone to another that a relative or other person has been injured, killed or is ill when the communication is known to be false; or
(4) Communicates with another person by any method described in subdivision (a)(1), without legitimate purpose:
(A) (i) With the malicious intent to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress; or
(ii) In a manner the defendant knows, or reasonably should know, would frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress to a similarly situated person of reasonable sensibilities; and
(B) As the result of the communication, the person is frightened, intimidated or emotionally distressed.
(b) (1) A person convicted of a criminal offense commits an offense if, while incarcerated, on pre-trial diversion, probation, community correction or parole, the person intentionally communicates in person with the victim of the person’s crime if the communication is:
(A) Anonymous or threatening or made in an offensively repetitious manner or at hours known to be inconvenient to the victim;
(B) Made for no legitimate purpose; and
(C) Made knowing that it will alarm or annoy the victim.
(2) If the victim of the person’s offense died as the result of the offense, the provisions of this subsection (b) shall apply to the deceased victim’s next-of-kin.
(c) A violation of subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor. A violation of subsection (b) is a Class E felony.