Annoying and Accosting Persons is a crime in Massachusetts. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 272 Section 53 defines this. It is a misdemeanor crime punishable by up six months in jail.
What is Annoying and Accosting People?
The prosecutor must prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt. They are;
- Someone knowingly engaged in an offensive and disorderly act or language.
- They intended to direct the conduct at a specific person
- That person was aware of the conduct
- The conduct was offensive and disorderly to a reasonable person.
In order to prove that the conduct or language was disorderly, the prosecutor must also prove one of the following four things. That the conduct or language involved violent behavior. Or, the conduct created a hazardous condition. The conduct was physically offensive. And that it invaded someone’s personal space. Finally, the conduct was threatening.
What is considered threatening in Massachusetts?
Many different actions are considered a threat in Massachusetts. A threat can be a comment. Or a threat could be an act. As long as it made a reasonable person fearful it is a threat. Finally, it is not enough to show the act made someone uncomfortable.
What is offensive conduct? It is conduct that causes displeasure, anger, or resentment, It has also been called conduct that is repugnant to the prevailing sense of what is decent and moral. Offensive acts require proof of sexual conduct or language. Whether or not it is a sexual connotation is whether a reasonable person would believe it was. Also, language that is sexually explicit may be in of its self threatening if they are inappropriate and likely to cause distress.
A single act is not enough to constitute annoying and accosting persons. The statute requires more than one incident.
As of 2014, there is no longer a requirement that the victim and the defendant be of the opposite sex.
Are there legal defenses to Annoying and Accosting Persons?
Yes, there are legal defenses to Annoying and Accosting Persons in Massachusetts. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you defend against Annoying and Accosting Persons charges. A criminal attorney can review the law and evidence. Also, they can focus on the strongest defenses.
Annoying and Accosting Attorney
Patrick Donovan is an experienced criminal defense attorney. Also, he is a former prosecutor. He uses his experience to achieve the best possible outcome for each and every one of his clients. He has appeared in over fifty courts in Massachusetts. Also, He has tried many cases to verdict including both felony and misdemeanor crimes. He offers a free consultation. Call today if you have been charged with annoying and accosting persons in Massachusetts.