You might be shocked or outraged if the government accuses you stalking another person. You may not even be aware of the law or know what kind of evidence the government must present to pursue charges against you.
Stalking is a course of conduct that causes fear in another person. Depending on the facts, it can be a felony case. If the government convicts you, you may face jail time, and your future may be affected.
Once you are aware that there is an issue, you may want to start developing your plan of defense. Sometimes the first step should be to talk with a Montgomery County stalking lawyer. You may have to explain a conviction to future employers.
A seasoned attorney may be helpful in understanding the potential charges and what the government must prove to find you guilty. You should seriously handle any suspicions.
Stalking is defined in the Pennsylvania Code of Law Title 18 §2709.1. Stalking is a course of conduct, which means there is a pattern of actions which include more than one occurrence over some time which show the continuity of the activity. The types of prohibited acts include:
If the act which causes the fear or distress occurred or was received in Montgomery County, then the police in that jurisdiction may pursue the matter. If the conduct occurred in more than one place, then more than one authority may seek criminal sanctions against an alleged defendant.
If there are no aggravating factors, stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor. If the government had previously convicted the alleged defendant of some violent crime or violated an order of protection involving the same person, it is a third-degree felony.
It is a crime to accuse another person of stalking fraudulently. If a person does so, the court may punish that person for making a false report to a police officer. The grading of the punishment is one degree higher than what the person accused the alleged perpetrator of doing. The purpose of this law is to discourage false reports and stop people from wasting police resources.
If a person’s course of behavior involves actions which are meant to scare, bother or annoy another that is harassment. Harassment includes following another person in a public place, as noted in the Pennsylvania Code of Law Title 18 §2709. Typically harassment is not a course of conduct. If a person continuously harasses another, that can become stalking. A first offense for harassment is a summary offense. Speak to a skilled attorney to learn about the penalties for a harassment offense.
A stalking charge is a serious offense. You may require a knowledgeable and aggressive defense attorney to ensure the best outcome in your unique situation. Each legal matter is different, but a Montgomery County stalking lawyer can help you understand what you are facing and how best to proceed.
Do not wait if you suspect you may be under investigation. The earlier an attorney gets involved, the better they can serve you. You have the right to the advice of a lawyer, and you may wish to take advantage of that right when your freedom and future are being threatened.