Fredericksburg Stalking Lawyer
Receiving a stalking charge is often an unsettling and frustrating experience. When someone faces such charges, they should reach out to a dedicated Fredericksburg stalking lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney could review the factors surrounding their arrest and work to build a comprehensive legal strategy. If you or someone you care about was arrested for a stalking offense, contact a lawyer today and start exploring your legal options.
What constitutes stalking in Fredericksburg?
In order to substantiate a stalking allegation, the prosecutor generally has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the accused, on more than occasion, engaged in conduct directed toward a complainant with the intent to place them in fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury to them or a member of their household. Someone charged with such an offense should speak with a qualified Fredericksburg stalking lawyer immediately.
Common Behavior That May Lead to Stalking Charges
A wide range of behavior can lead to charges of stalking in Virginia, ranging from simply walking by a house or bumping into a person in public, to allegedly engaging in real threatening behavior. An example of behavior that may constitute as stalking may include leaving a note threatening death or engaging in behavior that might give a person fear of death. To engage in such behavior on two or more occasions typically would be considered stalking. Some other behaviors that the prosecution may argue could cause someone to fear bodily injury would be to follow another person.
Supplemental Charges Following a Stalking Arrest
It is common for other criminal charges to tie into a stalking offense. There are some criminal charges that may further indicate stalking occurred. For example, assault, trespass, abduction or kidnapping could constitute as an act that may help to support a stalking offense. However, additional criminal charges are not usually necessary to maintain a stalking charge.
Potential Penalties for a Conviction
Someone who is convicted of stalking is guilty of a Class One Misdemeanor, which is a jailable offense in Virginia. A maximum penalty would typically involve one year in jail and a fine of $2,500, but an individual who is convicted of a second offense of stalking within a five-year period which is considered a Class Six Felony may receive a maximum of five years in prison.
Protective Orders That May be Issued in a Stalking Case
When a person is accused of stalking, it is common for them to have a protective order issued against them. In Fredericksburg and the greater state of Virginia, a protective order generally is a legal document granted by the court to prevent an individual from having any further contact with a complainant in a case. The types of orders that a complainant may file for frequently include:
- an emergency protective order
- a temporary protective order
- a permanent protective order
Contact a Knowledgeable Stalking Lawyer in Fredericksburg
If you were accused of a stalking offense, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. A conviction could negatively impact a person’s quality of life and subject them to a hefty jail sentence. Contact a skilled Fredericksburg stalking lawyer today and begin assessing your legal options.