Avoid the Harsh Punishment of Stalking with the Help of an Atlanta Georgia Attorney
You communicated with an individual and now you are facing criminal charges for stalking. This is a criminal charge involving repeated behavior. The repeated behavior is unwanted by the individual you communicating with.
According to Georgia’s criminal statute 16-5-90, you can be accused of stalking for committing the type of repeated behavior that places an individual under emotional distress. The communication with the victim is considered contact done to intimidate or harass.
Contact refers to reaching an alleged victim, not only in person but also by:
- Social media
To intimate or harass in a stalking charge means the alleged victim endured emotional distress. You actions allegedly place them in fear of their lives and their family’s safety. The intimidation and harassment were done for no reason.
The Situations that May Cause You to be Charged with Stalking in Atlanta Georgia
Under certain situations, you can be accused of this crime in Atlanta Georgia if you:
- Placed the alleged victim under surveillance or contacted them without their consent. The surveillance or contact was done to intimidate or harass the alleged victim.
- You allegedly stalked in violation of a protection order
- You placed information about the alleged victim on the Internet, radio, print or any other type of communication to harass or intimate them
The Punishment for Stalking in Atlanta Georgia Depends on whether it is a First or Second Offense
The punishment for this crime in Atlanta Georgia depends on whether you are accused of stalking for the first or second time. If you are convicted of a first time stalking charge, you are facing a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor punishment is a criminal sentence of 12 months in county jail and a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000.
If this is your second charge and conviction, you are facing a felony punishment. This means prison time. The criminal sentence is one to 10 years in prison.
Aggravated Stalking is a different Type of Criminal Charge in Atlanta Georgia
It is important to note that a simple stalking case is different from an aggravated stalking charge. You do not want to be in the middle of this case and be accused of a more serious criminal charge of aggravated stalking.
An alleged victim in a stalking case can obtain a no-contact order, this is called a protective or restraining order. The order is given by a judge 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 alleged victim can accuse you of aggravated stalking during and/or after your case is resolved. However, they have to show that you continued to stalk then after you have been told to stop, the prosecutor must show that you actually committed the more serious crime of aggravated stalking. The elements they have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt are:
- You violated probation, court-ordered restraining order or parole terms that prevented you from contacting or communicating with the alleged victim
- 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 want to stay away from the alleged victim even though you know you are not guilty. Sometimes the alleged victim may go where you are to get you in trouble. So do everything you can to avoid any alleged or perceived stalking incidents. You do not want to increase the current criminal charge against you. Instead, let your attorney do all of your communication with the alleged victim.
Choose Georgia Defense Force to Fight Your Atlanta Georgia Stalking Charge
Stalking is just like any other type of criminal charge. It is just a charge unless a prosecutor can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty. This means you have the right to present a defense that knocks a blow to the prosecutor’s case against you.
A defense is a strategy used to damage the prosecutor’s case and explain why you should not be prosecuted. A great defense strategy can help you avoid going to trial altogether. It gives your attorney leverage to get the charges dropped or reduced.
Common defenses to this charge include, but are not limited to:
- Attacking the elements of the charge
- Showing that the victim lied about what happened so they cannot bring a charge
- Showing the victim intentionally or mistakenly identified you as the one stalking them. For instance, the alleged victim intentionally told the police you were stalking them to get back at you for some reason.
- Prove you are actually innocent of the charge
We provide all potential clients with a free case evaluation. Take us up on our offer to discuss your case for free. Contact us.