Stalking is defined as willful, malicious and repeated following or harassment of another person with the intention of instilling reasonable fear in them for their own safety as well as the safety of their immediate family including children, siblings, parents or spouse. Stalking charges could lead to a restraining order, probation, fines or jail time. For this reason, it is important to seek assistance from a qualified defense attorney if you are facing such accusations. The attorney will work out various defenses to ensure your charges are reduced or conviction of this crime is eliminated.
For one to be found guilty of stalking, the prosecution must prove all the three elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. These are:
Stalking is wobbler, which means cases relating to it can undergo trial as either a felony of a misdemeanor. This depends on the details of the case and the criminal history of the defendant.
If you are found guilty of stalking or harassment as a misdemeanor, your punishment could include: informal probation, fines of up to $1,000, mandatory counseling, up to 1 year in county prison, a restraining order forbidding you from getting close to the victim, and possible treatment at a state mental health facility.
In more serious situations, stalking is charged as a felony. This crime becomes an immediate felony if the defendant was previously convicted of stalking, or if the defendant committed a restraining order violation while being captured for the crime.
If you are found guilty of this crime as a felony, your penalty can include: formal probation, up to $1,000 in fines, up to 5 years in state jail, mandatory counseling, possible treatment at a state mental health facility, a restraining order and forced to record as a sex offender under California Penal Code 290. You could get additional jail time if you had a gun or other weapons while stalking, or if you cause great bodily harm to the victim while stalking.
An experienced attorney can make various arguments to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed altogether. An attorney can argue that the defendant made a threat that is not reasonable. For instance, if you threatened to bomb someone’s home, your lawyer can attack this threat as you are likely not to have any access to a bomb.
Another possible defense to stalking charges is that it is a case of mistaken identity. Sometimes, former lovers or jealous ex-spouses may make up false claims about their former partners to get them in trouble. Your attorney can attack the credibility of the claims by the victim.
If you or a loved one is accused of stalking, contact experienced defense attorney, Robert E. Levy, to get the best legal representation. Remember, a stalking conviction might be a red-flag for future employers and could cause you to register as a sex offender. All cases are different and Robert E. Levy will evaluate yours independently to assist you with the stressful elements of this case as well as fight for your rights.
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