Stalking is more than a jilted husband or wife following spouses for the sake of catching them in a compromising position. It can be a serious offense involving serious penalties. If you’ve been charged with stalking, then you need a lawyer experienced in criminal defense. Attorney Dean Phillips can help you with your case.
What is Stalking?
Stalking can involve following, placing under surveillance, and contact of another person for the purpose of harassment and intimidation of that person, including contact by way of computer and computer network or any other electronic device. In other words, texting a person or posting on his or her Facebook page can be deemed as stalking. It can occur on private property or in public places. Of course, no one can go to your residence and claim that you were stalking that person. O.C.G.A. § 16-5-90 explains that harassment and intimidation is “conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person’s safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose.” You don’t necessarily have to threaten bodily injury or death for the purpose of harassment or intimidation.
A first offense is a misdemeanor. Second and subsequent offenses will result in a felony charge and can be sentenced between one and ten years in prison, and your misdeed will be published, typically in your local newspaper. You may also be subject to a psychological evaluation.
Aggravated stalking also occurs when you meet the above definition plus meet these certain requirements such as violating:
- Bond to keep the peace
- Temporary or permanent restraining order
- Temporary or permanent protective order
- Good behavior bond
- Preliminary or permanent injunction or condition of pretrial release
- Condition of probation or parole
Aggravated stalking is a felony offense that can result in imprisonment between one and ten years as well as a fine of $10,000.00 or less.
Exemptions to Stalking Statutes
You are exempted if you’re engaged in protected activity defined by the U.S. or Georgia’s constitutions or engaged in lawful business activity or professional practice. For example, private investigators will most likely not incur charges for surveilling people.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Your Corner
Many people are incorrectly accused, particularly by overwrought family members caught up in the heat of a divorce or other domestic situation. If you’ve been charged, don’t hesitate to contact Attorney Dean Phillips. He will help you establish a defense in your case.
Mr. Phillips can represent you if you are charged with stalking in Marietta, Cobb County, Paulding County, Bartow County, Acworth, Austell, Powder Springs, Smyrna, Kennesaw and Woodstock. For a free consultation for your criminal defense case, call 770-415-0933.