Criminal harassment is under section 264 of the Canadian Criminal Code. There are 4 types of behaviour that qualify as criminal harassment:
- Section 264(2)(a) covers the repeated following of the accuser or person known to them.
- Section 264(2)(b) is the repeated communication with, either directly or indirectly, the accuser or anyone known to them.
- The third part of this section, s. 264(2)(c) involves being constantly present at or watching the home of the accuser or any other place that is frequented.
- Lastly, s.264(d) is engaging in threatening conduct that is directed at the individual or member of their family.
Common examples of criminal harassment include:
- Following an individual to their workplace
- Repeatedly contacting a person
- Sending gifts and flowers that are not welcomed
- Persistent and unwelcomed communication through various methods, including repetitive phone calls, emails, texts, or social media messages.
At Roulston Urquhart, we understand how quickly criminal harassment charges can arise. This is because there is a wide spectrum of behaviour that can be considered for a criminal harassment charge. Our criminal lawyers in Calgary will thoroughly review the information you provide and rigorously defend you against this type of accusation.
Is criminal harassment the same as stalking?
As previously stated, criminal harassment is listed in the Criminal Code under s.264. Stalking is considered a type of harassing behaviour that an accused may exhibit when charged with criminal harassment. Stalking itself is not considered a specific and separate offence in the Criminal Code.
How serious must allegations be to result in a criminal harassment charge?
To be charged with criminal harassment, it must be shown that the accused behaved in a harassing manner listed in one of the four subsections above. The complainant must also show that the alleged behaviour of the accused reasonably created a sense of fear for their own, or other persons, safety.
A high-profile example of criminal harassment
A recent high-profile news story of a criminal harassment charge involved the pop singer and actress Ariana Grande. On Ms Grande’s birthday, June 26, 2022, her home was broken into by a stalker. This violated a previous restraining order. Ms Grande expressed immense fear for her own safety, as well as for her family’s.
If you’re facing a criminal harassment charge, you need an experienced criminal harassment lawyer in Calgary by your side. Contact us and we can help.