What is Harassment?

The statute on harassment in Tennessee is very broad. For example, you can be arrested for harassment by placing one or more calls to a person anonymously or without a legitimate purpose. Harassment can be charged several different ways:

1) By threatening another person by telephone, in writing or electronic communication, such as texts, faxes, email, or other internet services such as chats, and this alarms or annoys the other person;

2) By placing one or more telephone calls anonymously, or at an hour known to be inconvenient to the victim, or in an offensively repetitious manner, or without a legitimate purpose, and this alarms or annoys the victim;

3) By calling the victim to tell them a relative or another person has been injured, killed or is ill when it is a false statement;

4) By communicating with any person by telephone, in writing or electronic communication, such as texts, faxes, email, or other internet services such as chats, without a legitimate purpose to frighten, intimidate or cause emotional distress.

Under the law, Harassment is a Class A Misdemeanor, the most serious of misdemeanor charges, and carries a maximum jail sentence of 11 months 29 days and a maximum fine of $2,500.

Aggravated Harassment is a Class E felony, if committed while incarcerated, on pre-trial diversion, probation, community corrections or parole, if the defendant communicates in person with the victim of the defendant's crime, if the communication is anonymous, made in an offensively repetitious manner, or at hours known to be inconvenient to the victim; made for no legitimate purpose; and made knowing it would alarm or annoy the victim.

Prosecutors can use detailed billing statements, print outs of emails and chats, faxes, letters, and cell phones themselves as evidence to prosecute a harassment charge.

If you need any more information please feel free to contact us by calling 615-686-2115 or fill out the contact form on the website.