Stalking is the act of following a person around and making that person uncomfortable or fearful. Sometimes stalking can be a result of obsession or merely a romance gone wrong. There is also the possibility that a misunderstanding may lead to a stalking charge.
If the police have spoken to you about potential stalking charges, take the matter seriously. Even though a first offense is a misdemeanor, subsequent convictions are felonies, which include not only longer sentencing, but also a permanent record.
The only person who can ensure you receive a strong defense is you. No one will care about your case as much as you do, but if you enlist the help of an accomplished defense attorney, you will at least have one other person looking out for your best interests.
A Fredericksburg stalking lawyer may be instrumental in planning a defense strategy and helping you understand your rights and what you are facing.
Stalking is when a person:
Violation of this law is a Class 1 misdemeanor, as described in Code of Virginia §18.2-60.3. The court will also prohibit the convicted from contacting the alleged victim or the victim’s family.
Prima facie means on its face. If a person has given the alleged stalker actual notice that they do not want to be followed or contacted, that is clear evidence of the alleged stalker’s intention to harass the alleged victim. The burden would then be on the alleged stalker to prove that their actions were not stalking under the rules of the statute. For more information, consult with a stalking lawyer in Fredericksburg.
If the court had convicted a person of stalking within the past five years and that person is facing a second conviction, a finding of guilt is a Class 6 felony. A court may punish a felony with more than one year in prison, and a person who is convicted must disclose their felony conviction to future employers.
The statute makes it clear that it does not matter if some of the stalkings occurred outside of Fredericksburg or the state, as long as some part of the conduct did take place in Fredericksburg. The Fredericksburg court hears the matter.
Once convicted, the court will order a protective order. If a person violates that protective order by approaching the victim with a gun or other weapon, stalks that person, injures that person or their family, or enters the person home, that is a Class 6 felony, as noted in Code of Virginia §18.2-60.4.
If the government accuses you of stalking, you may feel embarrassed or angry. While those are normal feelings, do not let those feelings stop you from looking out for your best interests. Your future could be at risk. There may be information about your case or facts about the legal process of which you are unaware of.
Sit down with a Fredericksburg stalking lawyer who may be able to share knowledge with you and make you aware of your rights.
An attorney may be able to strategize with you a definite plan of defense and share an overview of what you are facing. You are in charge of your case, and it is up to you to pursue the help which may affect your matter’s outcome. Call today.
Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law