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Knoxville Harassment and Stalking Defense Attorney

Anderson County Harassment and Stalking Defense Attorney

Experienced Knox County Lawyer for Clients Accused of Harassing, Spying and Electronic Monitoring

Have you or someone you love been arrested and charged with harassment or stalking in or around Knox County? If so, you could be facing serious criminal penalties and a record that could follow you for the rest of your life. At the law firm of Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, we know that it can be scary and overwhelming when you are charged with a crime, and we will work hard to help you navigate the Tennessee justice system in a way that limits the damage to your future.

Harassment Laws in Tennessee

It is against the law in Tennessee to continue to contact or attempt to interact with another person against that person's wishes, especially if the behavior causes another person to be annoyed, alarmed, frightened, intimidated, or otherwise emotionally distressed. Under Tennessee law, the crime of harassment includes such contact when it is made by telephone, in writing, or through an electronic device. The law specifically references "internet services" which means that it is possible to be charged with harassment for posting threatening, intimidating, or alarming messages on social media sites.

There are several different types of harassment that could result in criminal charges, including:

  • Making threats against someone else by phone, in writing, or through electronic communication;
  • Making prank phone calls, or calling at inconvenient hours with no legitimate reason;
  • Communicating to another person that someone they love is dead, injured, or sick when the report is known to be false; and
  • Any type of phone, electronic, or written communication made without a legitimate purpose except the intent to frighten, intimidate, or cause emotional distress.

It is also considered harassment for a person who has been convicted of a crime to make anonymous, threatening, or purposeless contact with the victim of the crime or the victim's family while the offender is in jail, on probation, or on parole. Most forms of harassment are Class A misdemeanor offenses, but this type of harassment is a Class E felony.

Union County Attorney for Stalking Charges

According to the law in Tennessee, the offense of stalking is similar to harassment, but the two are different in several important ways. Unlike harassment, which can be charged for a single act, stalking involves "repeated or continuing harassment of another individual" that would make the average person feel threatened, scared, terrorized, or molested or that actually cause such feelings for the victim. Stalking also includes in-person activities, such as showing up at the person's home or workplace, in addition to telephone, mail, or electronic communications.

You could be charged with stalking if another person told you to leave them alone and you still engaged in a pattern of behavior in which you:

  • Followed the person or went to where you knew he or she would be;
  • Approached or confronted the person in public;
  • Entered or left an object on the person's property; or
  • Contacted the person by phone, mail, or electronic means.

Stalking is usually a Class A misdemeanor, but the charge can be elevated to aggravated stalking due to issues such as displaying a deadly weapon, stalking a minor, making a credible threat of bodily injury, stalking in violation of an order of protection, or a previous conviction of stalking. Aggravated stalking is a Class E felony. A Class C felony charge of "especially aggravated stalking" is possible if a case involves accusations of causing bodily injury while stalking or a repeat charge of stalking or aggravated stalking of the same victim as a prior stalking conviction. In most cases, a stalking conviction will result in an order by the court to stay away from the victim in addition to the other possible penalties.

Contact Our Knoxville Harassment and Stalking Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with harassment or stalking, Attorney Jeffrey Coller and his team will help you understand the situation and will work with you in exploring your available options. Contact our office today to get started. Call 865-281-1000 for a free consultation. Our firm serves clients in Union County, Blount County, Campbell County, Knox County, and the surrounding areas.

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