Wilton Stalking Lawyer
A Wilton stalking lawyer could explain the potential ramifications and your options for fighting the charges you are facing. Working with a top defense lawyer who understands how local courts handle stalking cases can help you avoid negative consequences and move forward with your life.
What Are the Penalties for Stalking?
The Connecticut penal code defines four separate types of stalking offenses. Three of these are misdemeanors, but one is a felony. Maximum penalties for these offenses are as follows:
- Stalking in the first degree, Class D Felony, Five years of imprisonment and $5,000 fine
- Stalking in the second degree, Class A Misdemeanor, One year of imprisonment and a $2,000 fine
- Stalking in the third degree, Class B Misdemeanor, Six months of imprisonment and a $1,000 fine
- Electronic stalking, Class B Misdemeanor, Six months of imprisonment and a $1,000 fine
A lawyer in Wilton can advocate for an alternative sentence following stalking charges whenever possible. It may be possible to negotiate a penalty that does not involve putting a conviction on the record to avoid the negative stigma of a criminal record.
How Does a State of Mind Impact a Charge?
Each of the four stalking crimes is defined differently. However, an individual must act with a certain state of mind to be found guilty of any offense.
For first- or second-degree stalking, someone must act knowingly or intentionally. To be convicted of a third-degree offense or electronic stalking, actions must be “willful,” and the person acting must recklessly cause fear or emotional distress in the person who is subjected to the alleged stalking behaviors. A Wilton attorney can fight the stalking charges by proving the person accused lacked the requisite state of mind to satisfy the statutory requirements.
Is There More than One Way to Commit a Stalking Offense?
Many different types of behavior can be considered stalking in the first- or second-degree. While following or lying in wait for another person can be treated as stalking, other conduct can too, such as leaving unwanted gifts for that person or even just watching or calling them. The conduct must consist of at least two actions and the actions must be substantial enough to cause a reasonable person to fear that they could be in danger or physical harm or damage to their business.
Third-degree stalking, which requires only reckless rather than deliberate action, takes place when someone follows or lies in wait for another person. Electronic stalking involves the use of GPS to track someone’s location.
Contact a Wilton Stalking Attorney
It is a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable Wilton stalking lawyer if you have been charged with this offense to learn how to get charges dismissed or reduced. A defense lawyer can help protect your rights and work to keep a conviction off your record. For more information about the options in your case, call Mark Sherman Law for a confidential consultation.