Aggravated Stalking O.C.G.A. 16-5-91
What You Need to Know about Aggravated Stalking Charge in Atlanta Georgia
A general stalking crime involves a pattern of behavior that scares an alleged victim. The simple stalking crime is defined as a series of repeated behaviors that scares a victim. The repeated series of events is called a pattern of behavior and becomes aggravated stalking. It is not a single event.
The repeated behavior has to create a fear or apprehension in the alleged victim. In general, the alleged stalking has to be things that a victim would not want. This includes watching the alleged victim, following them or contacting them.
Communication is also a huge part of a simple stalking charge. The communication may include contacting the alleged victim by phone, mail, broadcast or any other devices.
Sometimes a victim may seek legal help to stop the alleged behavior. Simple stalking is not a felony, but a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor in Atlanta Georgia is a maximum punishment of 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Once a person is accused of stalking, they may be convicted. They have to stay away from the alleged victim or face additional penalties
To be charged with aggravated stalking in Atlanta Georgia, you must have a prior stalking case against you. The prior stalking case involves the same alleged victim and/or their family members.
In Atlanta Georgia, stalking—not aggravated stalking—is the act of engaging in behaviors that are considered bad or that have a malicious intent. Stalking involves repeated harassment, communication or following a victim. As a result of the repeated behavior, the alleged victim sustains substantial emotional distress.
The Alleged Victim in Atlanta Georgia obtained a Restraining Order in the Prior Stalking which Set up the Aggravated Stalking Charge
An alleged victim in a stalking case can obtain a no-contact order, commonly called a restraining order, to prevent you from contacting them in the future. Once they receive the restraining order, you are prohibited from contacting and/or communicating with them. Any violation of the order can get you charged with aggravated stalking.
The Elements of an Aggravated Stalking Charge in Atlanta Georgia
To prove that you continued to stalk an alleged victim after you have been told to stop, the prosecutor must show that you actually committed the crime. The elements they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt you committed aggravated stalking is:
- You followed, contacted or placed them under surveillance without their consent. The surveillance was done to harass or intimidate them.
- You posted or spread information about the alleged victim on social media, television, newspaper or radio. You did this to harass or intimidate the alleged victim
- You violated probation, court-ordered restraining order or parole terms that prevented you from contacting or communicating with the alleged victim
The Punishment for an Atlanta Georgia Aggravated Stalking Conviction
Anyone convicted of aggravated stalking faces a felony punishment. This means that if you or a loved one was convicted of aggravated stalking, the criminal sentence is one to 10 years in prison. The sentence may include a fine or $10,000.
Defending Yourself in an Aggravated Stalking Charge in Atlanta Georgia
You and your lawyer will have a lot of defenses to use when fighting your aggravated stalking charge. You will not know which one until later. For now, it is important to go over some common aggravated stalking defenses used. They include, but are not limited to:
- You did not commit the crime. This is the actual innocence defense.
- You did not communicate a threat of violence to the alleged victim
- The alleged threat was not realistic or no reasonable individual would have decided the communication was a threat
- You were mistakenly identified. This typically means you had an alibi for the time and date the alleged violation of the restraining order occurred.
- You were falsely accused of aggravated stalking by someone who wanted to harm you or get you into legal trouble
Contact Georgia Defense Force, LLC for Assistance with Your Aggravated Stalking Charge
Aggravating stalking can often be dismissed or reduced because the alleged contact is not a threat of violence. Instead, it is simple communication. We will negotiate with the state to get the charged dropped based on the facts of your case and the possible lack of violent communication.
If you are a loved one responsible for getting your loved one charged with aggravated stalking out of jail, we want you to understand something. Obtaining a quick bond for anyone charged with aggravated stalking is the most difficult part of the court process. So we will work continuously and simultaneously pursue every avenue for a bond. These avenues include filing a Motion for Bond and working with prosecutors for a consent bond.
Whether you are charged with aggravated stalking or a loved one trying to help, trust that we will fight to resolve this matter in a positive way. Contact us today.