Fairfield Stalking Lawyer
Criminal charges based on allegations of stalking can be complicated to contest effectively in court and challenging to move on from outside of court, even if your case ends without a conviction. Whether your offense is categorized as a misdemeanor or a felony, a seasoned domestic violence attorney’s guidance is vital to securing the best possible case result. Fortunately, you have help available from an experienced Fairfield stalking lawyer who knows how to resolve situations like yours in the most amicable way possible.
What Are the Degrees of Misdemeanor Stalking Under State Law?
There are three “degrees” that a stalking offense may fall under, depending on the circumstances. The least severe variant of this charge defined in the Connecticut Penal Code is Stalking in the Third Degree. According to Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-181e, this offense involves willfully and repeatedly lying in wait for or following another person and, in doing so, recklessly causing that person to fear for their physical safety or experience emotional distress.
Stalking in the Third Degree is a Class B misdemeanor, so a convicted person may face maximum sanctions of six months in jail and/or $1,000 in fines. It should also be noted that electronic stalking is also a Class B misdemeanor under the Connecticut Penal Code. C.G.S. § 53a-181f defines this as someone recklessly causing someone else to fear for their physical safety by repeatedly and intentionally using a GPS or similar electronic monitoring system to track that person’s movement or geographic location.
If someone engages in a “course of conduct” that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress, fear for their physical safety, or fear for the health of their career, they may face charges of Stalking in the Second Degree. This means engaging in two or more acts of following, surveilling, harassing, threatening, or interfering with another person’s property, either directly or through a third party. As per C.G.S. § 53a-181d, this is a Class A misdemeanor that could carry maximum sanctions upon conviction of one year in jail and $2,000 in fines. A knowledgeable Fairfield attorney can explain the degrees of stalking and their potential penalties in more detail during a consultation.
Can Stalking Be a Felony Offense?
Anyone who commits Stalking in the Second Degree after having been previously convicted of the same offense at any point in the past may have their new offense classified as Stalking in the First Degree under C.G.S. § 53a-181c. Additionally, anyone who commits Stalking in the Second Degree in a way that constitutes a violation of a court order or whose target is someone under 16 years old can also be prosecuted for Stalking in the First Degree.
This is considered a Class D felony offense, which means a person convicted under the above statute may face up to five years in state prison and a maximum of $5,000 in fines. A seasoned attorney’s support is crucial to proactively handling this kind of stalking charge in Fairfield.
Consider Working with a Fairfield Stalking Attorney
Being accused of stalking another person can have resounding implications for your personal and professional life. If you are dealing with this kind of allegation, seeking help from a seasoned Fairfield stalking lawyer should be your top priority. Call Mark Sherman Law today to schedule a consultation, and click here to visit our Avvo profile with over 300 certified reviews to learn what past clients have to say about working with us.