Section 39 (aka Harassment)
A section 39 offence aka harassment and stalking has become an increasingly prominent allegation in society as people put more about themselves online these days.
Section 39 (Harassment) FAQ
Being accused of abusive or threatening behaviour by someone you know can be a worrying time. However, there are ways you can handle it if you take quick action and get good legal advice.
Actions like unwanted phone calls, verbal abuse or using animals to scare another person may constitute harassment under Section 39 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010.
Proving an allegation
To prove an allegation of harassment, a criminal lawyer will need to show the alleged victim has been suffering from unwanted conduct by another person that is causing them distress or alarm. This could be the types of online or in-person crimes mentioned above, but really anything that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Whether you are the accused, or the victim, in this situation, we would advise that you first get legal support about the protections offered to you under law. The stalking and harassment solicitors team at Graham Walker Solicitors are always available to go through your options and will explain how you go about stopping abusive behaviour or defending yourself from allegations you disagree with.
Stalking is becoming an increasingly common type of harassment. Section 39 allows for someone to be charged with this crime after two incidents or concerning behaviour being reported to the police. If the allegation is of threatening or abusive behaviour, then only a single incident needs to be reported.
After the charge has been agreed, the court’s representatives can give down orders such as an interdict or a non-harassment order. This insists that the named person keeps away from the victim of harassment and imposes penalties if they don’t.
A non-harassment order may also be connected to the power of arrest. This means that a person can be immediately arrested for breaking the terms of the order. In the case of an interdict, the police can become involved if the terms are broken. The victim may also claim compensation.
Section 39 defence
There are several defences available to people accused under Section 39, and Matthew Berlow at Graham Walker Solicitors are well-equipped to advocate for the best outcome for their clients. We can work with cases of accusations of cyber-stalking or bullying, identity theft and ‘phishing’, Illegal downloading (copyright theft) and hacking or spreading malicious content.
Another growing area of law relates to social media harassment – in particular, libel, hate speech, or other types of bullying on platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Accusations may include sending large numbers of messages via applications like Facebook or WhatsApp. These cases can be effectively managed when carefully approached. Get in touch for more details.
Stalking and harassment solicitors
We’re proud of our 24/7 lawyer service and operate quickly and efficiently across Glasgow, Ayr, Kilmarnock, Coatbridge, Airdrie, Hamilton and Motherwell. As the internet grows, so does the risk of being caught up in an unfair allegation. We’re here to help. Contact us today.