Weston Stalking Lawyer
If you are facing charges for observing, contacting, or otherwise harassing someone else without their consent, you should make speaking with a Weston Stalking lawyer your top priority. These cases can be subjective, and having a seasoned domestic violence defense attorney’s help is vital to sorting through all available information and building the strongest possible defense.
Misdemeanor Stalking Charges in Connecticut
There are four distinct stalking charges codified in the Connecticut Penal Code, two of which are misdemeanors and two of which are felonies. The most basic version of this offense is Stalking in the Third Degree, which Connecticut General Statutes (C.G.S.) § 53a-181e defines as someone willfully and repeatedly following or waiting in a particular area for another person in such a way that they cause the targeted person to experience reasonable fear for their physical safety or emotional distress. This is a Class B misdemeanor offense, meaning a convicted person could face maximum criminal sanctions of six months in jail plus $1,000 in fines.
Stalking in the Second Degree is categorized under C.G.S. § 53a-181d as a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a maximum of $2,000 in fines. Stalking in the Second Degree entails someone engaging in a course of conduct that results in another person fearing for their physical safety or that of a third person or pet, suffering emotional distress, or fearing damage to their career or business. As a Weston Stalking attorney can explain, deliberately disclosing someone else’s personally identifiable information to cause them fear or distress can also be prosecuted under C.G.S. § 53a-181d as Stalking in the Second Degree.
When Does Stalking Become a Felony Offense?
Under C.G.S. § 53a-181c, someone may be prosecuted for Stalking in the First Degree if they commit Stalking in the Second Degree when any of the following aggravating conditions are also present:
- They have been convicted of Stalking in the Second Degree at least once before;
- Their actions constitute a violation of a valid court order;
- They are 22 years old or older, and the person they allegedly targeted is younger than 16 years old; and/or
- They allegedly targeted a particular person because of their actual or perceived religion, race, ethnicity, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
This form of Stalking is a Class D felony. Someone convicted under this statute could face a five-year maximum prison term and/or $5,000 in fines.
Notably, C.G.S. § 53a-181f separately defines Electronic Stalking as someone using any computer or electronic communication system to engage in any course of conduct which causes substantial emotional distress to the targeted person or causes them reasonable fear that they, an immediate family member of theirs, or an intimate partner may suffer serious or fatal bodily injury. This is also a Class D felony offense, which means working closely with a capable Stalking attorney is especially crucial when facing this sort of charge in Weston.
Work With a Weston Stalking Attorney Today
Even if you have no prior criminal history to speak of, a single conviction for Stalking could leave you facing severe criminal penalties as well as various administrative, civil, and social consequences that could last for years or even decades after your criminal case ends. Fortunately, you have help available to you from a seasoned Weston Stalking lawyer who knows from experience how to effectively fight cases like this both in and out of court.