In Arizona, harassment is conduct that is directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed, humiliated, or mentally distressed, in which the conduct does in fact seriously alarm, annoy, humiliate, or mentally distress the person. According to Arizona’s harassment statute, A.R.S. 13-2921, violations can be classified as a class 1 misdemeanor or a class 5 felony.
Class 1 Misdemeanor Harassment
A person commits class 1 misdemeanor harassment if the person knowingly and repeatedly commits an act or acts that harass another person or the person knowingly commits any one of the following acts in a manner that harasses:
- Contacts or causes a communication with another person by verbal, electronic, mechanical, telegraphic, telephonic or written means.
- Continues to follow another person in or about a public place after being asked by that person to desist.
- Surveils or causes a person to surveil another person.
- Makes a false report to a law enforcement, credit or social service agency against another person.
- Interferes with the delivery of any public or regulated utility to another person.
Those convicted of a class 1 misdemeanor can face incarceration of up to six months for first-time offenders.
Class 5 Felony Harassment
A person commits class 5 felony harassment if the harassment is against a public officer or employee if the person, with intent to harass, files a nonconsensual lien against any public officer or employee that is not accompanied by an order or a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction authorizing the filing of the lien or is not issued by a governmental entity or political subdivision or agency pursuant to its statutory authority, a validly licensed utility or water delivery company, a mechanics’ lien claimant or an entity created under covenants, conditions, restrictions or declarations affecting real property.
First-time offenders of class 5 felonies can face incarceration of up to 2.5 years.
What is Not Considered Harassment?
According to this statute, the following cannot be considered harassment:
- A lawful demonstration, assembly, or picketing.
- A professional investigator or peace officer who is licensed by this state and who is acting within the scope of the investigator’s or officer’s duties in connection with any criminal or civil investigation.
- A certified and duly authorized process server who is acting within the scope of the process server’s duties in connection with any judicial or administrative action or proceeding.
Harassing another person per A.R.S. 13-2921 who has an active order of protection or injunction against harassment against the offender is considered aggravated harassment (A.R.S. 13-2921.01), an even more serious charge that can be a class 5 or class 6 felony depending on the circumstance.
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