Greenwich Stalking Lawyer
If you are facing stalking charges, A Greenwich stalking lawyer could help in several ways. In many cases, stalking charges can be proven to be unwarranted. A top defense lawyer can seek and preserve evidence while it is most readily available to help you mount the best defense possible.
What Are the Penalties for Stalking in Connecticut?
The severity of a stalking crime depends on the circumstances involved in a case. Someone convicted of electronic stalking by tracking another person’s position with a GPS device may be sentenced to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000 under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-181f. Similar penalties apply for those convicted of stalking in the third degree under C.G.S. § 53a-181e, since both offenses are Class B misdemeanors.
Second-degree stalking is considered a Class A misdemeanor under C.G.S. § 53a-181d. Someone found guilty may be sentenced to one year of imprisonment plus a fine as high as $2,000.
When circumstances lead to a conviction for stalking in the first degree under C.G.S. § 53a-181c, penalties increase considerably because first-degree stalking is a Class D felony. Those convicted face up to five years in prison as well as a fine of up to $5,000.
How Can Someone Be Charged with Third-Degree Stalking?
Under Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) §53a-181e, an individual commits stalking in the third degree if they willfully and repeatedly follow another person or lie in wait for that person. For these actions to constitute stalking, they must reasonably cause the other person to suffer emotional distress or fear for their physical safety.
The person acting does not need to intend to cause distress or fear but only needs to be acting in a reckless manner likely to create that type of reaction. A Greenwich stalking attorney may be able to show that the individual accused had appropriate reasons for following or lying in wait so the actions could not be considered reckless, and therefore, no crime occurred.
How Serious Are First and Second-Degree Stalking?
Stalking in the first and second degrees involves more than one act, just as third-degree stalking requires repeated actions. For the more serious forms of stalking, the person accused must knowingly engage in a “course of conduct” to be convicted. The conduct could be conducted through social media or other means, but it must include at least two incidents.
What Repeated Actions Can Lead to a Charge?
According to C.G.S. §53a-181d, actions that, if repeated, could be treated as stalking include:
- Lying in wait for
- Sending unwanted gifts
- Interfering with property
If an individual engages in a course of conduct targeted at a specific person and their actions would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or to experience emotional distress, then that person may be found guilty of second-degree stalking. When the person targeted is under the age of 16 or the person taking action violates a court order or has a prior conviction, then the actions can be treated as stalking in the first degree.
Work with an Experienced Greenwich Stalking Attorney
A knowledgeable Greenwich stalking lawyer can work to minimize any negative consequences while fighting for a dismissal or alternative sentence. To learn how a defense lawyer could help if you have been accused of stalking, call now to learn more.