Harassment covers a wide range of actions intended to threaten, intimidate, or annoy another person. The charges a person faces for harassment depend on the facts of the case and the types of behavior involved. Because you could be charged with harassment even if you do not intend to harass someone, it is essential to understand the grounds for harassment in Kentucky.

What Are the Harassment Laws in Kentucky?

Several statutes cover harassment in Kentucky. Those laws include:

General Harassment 

Harassment is a crime in Kentucky. It is codified in Kentucky Revised Statute §525.070. According to the statute, a person is guilty of harassment if they do any of the following with the intent to harass, alarm, intimidate, or annoy another person:

  • Shove, strike, kick, or subject the person to physical contact
  • Attempt to kick, strike, shove, or subject the person to physical contact
  • Make offensively coarse statements, displays, gestures, or direct abusive language to a person in public
  • Follow someone in a public place
  • Engage in repeated acts or a course of conduct without a legitimate purpose that seriously annoys or alarms another person
  • A student who damages or steals another student’s property, creates a hostile environment, or substantially disrupts school operations

A person can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor if they physically harass someone. Attempts to harass are generally considered a violation. 

Harassing Communications

Harassing communications is illegal under Kentucky Revised Statute §525.080. This form of harassment applies to communications that are not made in person. You can be guilty have harassing communications if you do any of the following to someone with the intent to annoy, harass, or alarm them:

  • Communicating with someone anonymously or otherwise which causes alarm or annoyance with no legitimate purpose for the communication 
  • Making a telephone call with no legitimate purpose for the communication, regardless of whether or not a conversation occurs
  • A student communicating with or about another student in a manner that a reasonable person should know would cause the other student to experience humiliation, fear of physical harm, embarrassment, or intimidation with no legitimate purpose for the communication

Harassing communications is charged as a Class B misdemeanor. 


Menacing is another form of harassment. According to Kentucky Revised Statute §508.050, a person is guilty of menacing if they intentionally cause another person to have a reasonable fear of imminent physical injury. Menacing is also a Class B misdemeanor. 

What Are the Penalties for Harassment in Lexington, KY?

The punishment for a Class B misdemeanor is a maximum fine of $250 and up to 90 days of jail time. Class A misdemeanors are punishable by a maximum fine of $500 and up to 12 months of jail time. 

The circumstances and aggravating factors could enhance harassment charges. Furthermore, the prosecutor may pursue related criminal charges that could be charged as felonies. Therefore, the punishment a person faces for harassment in Kentucky could increase.

Defending Yourself Against Harassment Charges in Lexington, KY

Even though you are innocent until proven guilty, you need to develop a solid defense against harassment charges. A conviction results in a criminal history that could have long-term collateral consequences. 

Hiring a criminal defense attorney can give you an advantage in defending yourself against harassment charges. A Lexington criminal defense lawyer can help you by:

  • Investigating the charges against you
  • Analyzing the state’s evidence
  • Determining whether the police or prosecutor violated your civil rights
  • Gathering evidence to support your defense
  • Filing applicable motions, including motions to dismiss and/or suppress evidence
  • Negotiating plea deals when going to trial is not your best option

Many of the acts considered to be harassment must be made with the intent to alarm, harass, intimidate, or annoy another person. The state has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended your actions to accomplish these things. 

Another defense to harassment charges is to prove that the communication had a legitimate purpose. You could also argue that the harassment was an unintended result of your actions (i.e., you did not intend to harass someone). A common defense to harassment is to prove a reasonable person would not have been annoyed or alarmed by your conduct.

Several procedural defenses could result in the harassment charges being dismissed. These include lack of probable cause for an arrest, denial of the right to legal counsel, failing to read you the Miranda warning, and coercing you into making a false confession. 

If you are arrested for harassment in Lexington, do not make a statement or answer questions without a lawyer present. You cannot talk your way out of the criminal charges. Instead, remain silent until you can speak with an attorney about your case.

Contact the Lexington Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (859) 569-4014 or visit us at our Lexington law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Lexington
333 West Vine Street #212
Lexington, KY 40507
United States