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Annoying and Accosting Persons of the Opposite Sex

Abuse related crimes and offenses against a person are prosecuted aggressively to the utmost extent in Massachusetts in order to protect citizens from abuse. In Massachusetts, anyone who accosts or annoys another person of the opposite sex with offensive and disorderly acts or languages is punishable under Section 53 of Chapter 272 of our General Laws. A conviction for this offense shall be punishable by the following:

  • Imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for no more than 6 months, or
  • A fine of not more than $200, or
  • Both fine and imprisonment.

In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecutor must be able to prove five elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The defendant knowingly engaged in disorderly acts or language,
  2. A reasonable person would consider the disorderly acts or language as offensive,
  3. The defendant intended to direct those acts or language towards the alleged victim,
  4. The alleged victim was aware of the defendant’s offensive and disorderly acts or language; and
  5. The alleged victim was a person of the opposite sex.

The Commonwealth must be able to prove that the conduct was both offensive and disorderly. Commonwealth v. Lombard. In order to prove the first element, the Commonwealth must be able to prove that the defendant either committed two or more disorderly acts, or that disorderly language was used. If the offense involved two disorderly acts, each of those two disorderly acts must be distinct, but may be part of a single incident or event. An act or language is considered disorderly if it involves either (1) fighting or violent or tumultuous behavior; (2) the creation of a hazardous condition; (3) the creation of a physically offensive condition that amounts to an invasion of person privacy; or (4) the act or language is threatening. An act is considered to be threatening, if there is an explicit threat, a strong implication that harm may come to the alleged victim, or a comment or act coupled with an aggressive move toward the alleged victim. In the event that sexually explicit language was involved, the language may be considered as inherently threatening when it is directed at particular individuals in settings which such communications are inappropriate and likely to cause severe distress to an individual.

Aggressive Boston, Massachusetts Abuse Defense Attorney

Courts view any crime against the person very seriously in Massachusetts; therefore it is crucial that you obtain the best legal counsel when facing an Annoying and Accosting Persons of the Opposite Sex charge. The Law Office of Patrick J. Murphy has 18 years of successful experience defending clients facing charges of abuse related crimes. Attorney Murphy is a highly resourceful and intelligent Boston-area defense attorney who has built a successful and reputable career vigorously defending his clients. For a free and confidential assessment of you case, please call (617) 367-0450 or completing the contact form on our website.

Client Reviews
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"Highly Recommended. Attorney Patrick J. Murphy absolutely helped me out in my time of need. When I met him in his Boston office he put me right at ease and explained the criminal process to me in a way I could easily understand and in a manner that gave me complete confidence. I was facing a criminal wanton destruction of property charge in Barnstable District Court. On the day of the case, he was at the courthouse waiting for me and my wife. Mr. Murphy handled the hearing in a very thorough and professional manner putting us through our testimony and making a powerful argument to the decision maker. My case was thrown out and I could not be happier with the service from Attorney Murphy. I highly recommend him to you as a skilled legal advocate!" Rob, Avvo User
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"Excellent Criminal Defense Lawyer. From the first consultation I knew Patrick Murphy was the right choice for my criminal defense. He was knowledgeable of the laws and knew how to build up a strong defense for my case. Every phone call and email I made was promptly answered. When it came time for my hearing, Patrick was prepared and able to get the criminal complaint against me dropped without ever becoming charge! Would highly recommend this attorney to anyone seeking a top quality defense attorney to handle their case!" John, Avvo User
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"OUI Not Guilty Verdict. Patrick Murphy provided excellent service as council on my case. He worked diligently over a long legal process that spanned over 3 years. He was able to take my case to a Jury Trial and get me a Not Guilty verdict through he expert knowledge of the law and expertise in cross examination of the prosecutions witnesses. He was very professional and available at anytime night or day to answer questions." Chris, Avvo User
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"Highly Skilled and Professional Lawyer. Attorney Pat Murphy did a great job guiding me through an A&B charge, and most importantly getting the case dismissed in a very timely manner. He is very professional, returns call promptly, and did a great explaining his strategy and the legal process to me. I was confident throughout the whole process that I was in good hands and would receive the best possible outcome in my case. Would highly recommended Attorney Murphy." Avvo User
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"I Felt That I was in Good Hands... and I Was! Mr. Patrick J. Murphy was very quick to respond to my needs. He was always there to answer any questions I had in a timely fashion, and he made me feel very comfortable in an extremely uncomfortable situation. Having Mr. Murphy by my side in the courtroom felt like I was at an advantage. He speaks with confidence. He doesn't stutter or pause while put on the spot. He treated me with respect. He listens. He always greeted me with a warm welcome and never wasted any time." Avvo User