Darien Stalking Lawyer
A Darien stalking lawyer could help you understand your defense options if you are facing charges of stalking in the first, second, or third degrees, or electronic stalking. Working with a top criminal lawyer who understands how stalking cases are handled can help you reach a positive outcome.
What Do I Need to Know About Stalking Offenses?
Police often charge stalking in connection with domestic disputes. Unlike with most crimes, an individual must act more than once to be accused of stalking because stalking consists of repeated actions or behaviors that combined together are considered a “course of conduct.”
Under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-181d, the behaviors that can lead to a stalking arrest include:
- Sending unwanted gifts
- Communicating with someone
A Darien attorney can seek evidence to show that acts alleged as stalking do not meet the statutory requirements.
What If My Actions Were Not Repeated?
For repeated actions or a course of conduct to be treated as stalking in Darien, the actions must either reasonably cause a particular reaction in the person targeted or be egregious enough to cause the reaction in a “reasonable” person. The reaction may involve emotional distress or fear of physical violence.
Emotional distress is defined in C.G.S. §53a-181d as mental or psychological suffering that is “significant.” It does not necessarily have to require professional treatment or counseling. If the so-called stalking actions are alleged to induce fear of physical harm, the fear could involve injury to the person targeted or to a third person.
Are There Differences Between the Various Stalking Degrees?
There are three different degrees of stalking, each with a different level of severity and different potential penalties. Second-degree stalking occurs when an individual engages in an intentional course of conduct aimed at a specific person and the actions would cause fear or distress in a reasonable person. This Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year of imprisonment plus a fine of up to $2,000.
Third-degree stalking occurs if someone repeatedly follows or lies in wait for another person and causes fear or distress not intentionally but recklessly. Repeatedly tracking a person’s location through GPS could be prosecuted as electronic stalking. Both offenses are Class B misdemeanors. Maximum penalties include six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
As a Darien attorney can explain, the most serious form of stalking, first-degree, occurs in situations where the alleged stalking is targeted toward a minor less than 16 years old, or if the individual has prior convictions or acts in violation of a court order. This D felony includes penalties include up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Consult an Experienced Darien Stalking Attorney
Advice and representation from an experienced Darien stalking lawyer could help you achieve a positive outcome. To learn more about the benefits an experienced legal advocate could provide in your case, call Mark Sherman Law now for a consultation.