Criminal Harassment s.264 Criminal Code of Canada
Criminal harassment normally arises in cases where there is some relationship between the accused and the complainant. Most often these charges arise out of broken personal relationships. However there are many other situations that may give rise to a criminal harassment charge for example: neighbour disputes, landlord and tenant issues and business/employment issues.
Criminal Harassment requires conduce that causes the complainant to “fear for their safety or the safety of anyone known to them”. This fear must be reasonable for the offence to be made out.
The conduct that is necessary to meet the standard of Criminal Harassment is found in s. 264(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada.
It includes (1) repeatedly following the complainant;
(2) repeatedly communicating with the complainant;
(3) besetting or watching the complainant at the home, employment or
where they may happen to be;
(4) threatening conduct directed at the complainant.
Often times in our experience the “fear” alleged by the complainant is more fictional than real. The charge is laid as a means to keep the parties apart.
We can help if you have been charged with criminal harassment
At Daley, Byers we have successfully negotiated a withdrawal of this type of charge on the basis that the parties continue to remain separate and apart.
If the case goes to trial, the Crown must establish conduct that falls within the 4 categories above, that the conduct caused the complainant fear, and that the fear was reasonable. This is not an easy task and we have successfully defended many clients who faced the charge of Criminal Harassment.
It is clearly in the interest of our clients for us to negotiate a resolution resulting in the charges being withdrawn. There is a guaranteed successful conclusion and the cost is obviously less than the cost of going to trial.