Criminal Harassment



Harassment is a misdemeanor punishable by 90 days in jail or a fine up to $500, or both.28 Criminal Law I § 3-803(a) makes it a crime to maliciously engage in a course of conduct over a period of time that alarms or seriously annoys another person. In order for this law to apply, the defendant's behavior must be done with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the victim.29 The statute also requires that the victim request that the defendant stop the behavior, and that the defendant's acts are done without a legal purpose.30 Typical examples of harassment include: repeatedly following the victim, going to the victim's home and/or workplace and making threats, etc.31

Victims of domestic violence are often harassed by their assailants. The harassment law can help victims in a way that was previously not adequately addressed by the criminal justice system.



[28] Crim. Law I § 3-803(c)(1).

[29] Id. § 3-803(a)(1).

[30] Id. § 3-803(a)(2)-(3).

[31] Galloway v. State, 130 Md. App. 89, 744 A.2d 1070 (2000), aff'd, 365 Md. 599, 781 A.2d 851 (2001).

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