R. v. H.N.
R. v. H.N.
(Calgary, P.C. - Criminal Harassment). As essential element of "criminal harassment" is that the complainant reasonably fears for his or her safety. In other words, it's not enough to charge a person with criminal harassment because they are annoying, persistent or communicative. Conduct that can amount to criminal harassment includes repeatedly following, repeatedly communicating directly or indirectly, besetting, watching or engaging in threatening conduct.
It is not unusual for police to charge criminal harassment pursuant to s. 264(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada merely because a person has sent persistent, non-threatening emails or text messages. In the view of this Calgary criminal lawyer, it is often inappropriate to charge for this. It is not unusual for police to fail to effectively the question of reasonable fear for safety. I have seen criminal harassment charges laid by police for no other reason than an aggrieved employee was emailing a former employer for their last paycheque. I have reviewed cases where criminal harassment was charged because of a high number of non-threatening text messages, without little or no consideration to the culture of text messaging or the actual text communications. For example, many people communicate a single sentence using multiple text messages. The number of text messages may not be criminally harassing.
In HN's case, it was the complainant who actually committed the criminal offence. Notwithstanding that it was the complainant who was arguably unlawfully in a dwelling house and who assaulted the accused, the police charged the accused with little or no reliable or credible evidence. The accused was forced to set the case for trial.
At trial, the case was the withdrawn. Unfortunately for the accused, legal fees were paid for trial.
David Chow is a an Alberta criminal defence lawyer who will make very effort to defend your case while being senstive to legal costs. Unfortunately, however, absent timely cooperation from the Prosecution, it is sometimes necessary to for an accused to plead not guilty, incur higher legal fees and set the case for trial. David routinely handles and successfully defends uttering threats, criminal harassment and their related offences.