How to best defend myself against a charge of harassment?

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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

Answers:

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

Answered 10 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.


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