Criminal Harassment in Massachusetts

Criminal Harassment in Massachusetts

Harassment can be a deeply distressing experience, causing significant emotional harm to victims. In Massachusetts, the law takes this issue seriously, as outlined in Section 43A. This statute defines criminal harassment as a pattern of conduct or series of acts over time directed at a specific person that seriously alarms them and would cause substantial emotional distress to a reasonable person.

The law covers various forms of communication, including mail, telephone, and electronic devices like email, internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. This broad scope reflects the modern means by which harassment can occur and aims to protect individuals from such behavior.

Penalties for criminal harassment are significant, with potential imprisonment in a house of correction for up to 2.5 years or a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Repeat offenders or those with prior convictions for similar offenses face even harsher penalties, including imprisonment in a house of correction for up to 2.5 years or imprisonment in state prison for up to 10 years.

These penalties underscore the seriousness with which Massachusetts treats criminal harassment and the importance of deterring such behavior. By defining and penalizing criminal harassment, the law seeks to protect individuals from the harmful effects of persistent and unwanted conduct.

It’s important for individuals to understand their rights and seek help if they believe they are being harassed. Reporting harassment can lead to legal action and help prevent further harm.

If you are being harassed and need assistance, call the law offices of Johnson Sclafani & Moriarty at 413-732-8356.