New York City Stalking Lawyer
Stalking is a serious crime, and if you have been charged with it, you will need the aid of a New York City stalking lawyer. In its simplest form, stalking is making unwanted contact with another person, even after they express they do not want to be contacted. Stalking usually causes individuals to fear for their safety, and many jurisdictions have made the penalties for stalking harsher for this reason.
If you are convicted of stalking another person, you can face jail time, astronomical legal fines, restitution, and a permanent criminal record. If you have been convicted of stalking in the past, you will face tougher penalties than first-time offenders. If you need help fighting your stalking charges, contact a distinguished criminal attorney immediately.
Stalking is the unwanted pursuit of another person. Most stalking cases involve spouses, domestic partners, and romantic interests, but periodically, individuals find themselves stalked by total strangers.
The following behaviors are often associated with stalking:
- Following an individual
- Randomly appearing at the home or job of another person
- Vandalizing the property of another person
- Sending unwanted messages
- Making harassing phone calls
Stalking usually occurs over an extended period of time, and its ultimate goal is usually to intimidate the victim. To determine if a person is guilty of stalking, the court will examine their past actions in relation to the victim. The consequences of a stalking conviction can be serious, and if a person wants to defend themselves in court, they should contact a New York City stalking lawyer.
First and Second-Degree Stalking
There are varying degrees of stalking, and first-degree stalking is the most serious. When most people think of stalking, they immediately think of one individual following or messaging another.
Such behaviors can be considered stalking, but when a person commits another crime, such as sexual assault while stalking another individual, they can be charged with first-degree stalking.
If a victim believes that they will be physically harmed or assaulted in any way, the accused person can be charged with second-degree stalking. Both first and second-degree stalking are considered felonies in the state of New York, and accused individuals should consult a New York City stalking lawyer in regards to their charges.
Third and Fourth-Degree Stalking
Unlike first and second-degree stalking, fourth and third-degree stalking are considered misdemeanors.
The following actions will warrant a fourth-degree stalking charge in the state of New York:
- The actions of the accused individual caused the victim to fear for their safety
- The actions of the accused individual harmed the mental and emotional health of the alleged victim
- The job or business of the victim were placed in jeopardy by the alleged stalker
- The accused individual allegedly continued to contact, follow, or harass the victim even after they were asked to stop
Third-degree stalking is similar to fourth-degree stalking, but it is reserved for individuals who have previous stalking convictions. Individuals facing misdemeanor stalking charges should consider hiring a New York City stalking lawyer to defend their rights in court.
Contacting a Lawyer
It is normal to feel frightened and intimidated when facing stalking charges, but with the help of a New York City stalking lawyer, you can defend yourself in court. Local lawyers will work diligently on your case, and can strive to get your charges reduced or dismissed.