How to best defend myself against a charge of harassment?

UPDATED: May 28, 2011

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How to best defend myself against a charge of harassment?

I recently split with my girlfriend and wanted to get some of my property from her house. I called and called with no answer so I drove by her house. She and her daughter were just getting out of her car so I pulled over on the street and yelled from my car for her to call me so that I could get my stuff. Her 13 year old daughter said something like, “You’re not getting anything”. I yelled back for her to. “Stay out of it you little ####” . When I got home the cops were there and I admitted to saying it but told them that it was a one time deal not meant to threaten or alarm. However I was charged with 3rd degree harassment. The judge said no public defender since it’s not a jailable offense. So now I go to court to defend myself. 

Asked on May 28, 2011 under Criminal Law, Iowa


M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The best way to defend yourself is to obtain an attorney.  It sounds like there may be several ways to resolve this without obtaining a conviction.  The state's case may be problematic from the perspective of proving intent, and you may be able to demonstrate that your attempts to retrieve your belongings were valid.  On the other hand, your statement to the police could constitute a confession.  In any event, it is clear that if you are going to take advantage of your defenses and the weaknesses in the state's case, you need to hire a lawyer who will be able to use these issues to negotiate with the prosecutor to obtain a favorable resolution on your behalf.  Good luck.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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