Connecticut Stalking Lawyer
In Connecticut, the state not only prohibits behavior considered to be stalking, but lawmakers have enacted four separate statutes governing this criminal offense. One of these statutes makes stalking a felony punishable by substantial prison sentences and heavy fines. Even if the actions found to constitute stalking are committed by a third person, you may be held responsible.
If you have been arrested in Connecticut for stalking, consult a Connecticut stalking lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled harassment attorney could help you try to avoid costly mistakes and begin working right away towards a strong resolution of your case.
Stalking is a relatively new crime and electronic stalking laws are regularly revised to keep up with technology. Where the offense once primarily involved phone calls or one person physically following another, the crime of stalking now includes communicating through text messages or email and tracking by GPS.
Classifying Harassment Charges
If instead of taking action recklessly, an individual engages in a certain “course of conduct” with the intent to place another person in fear of physical harm or of losing employment, then the behavior may be treated as stalking in the second degree.
Connecticut stalking statutes define a course of conduct to include following, watching, threatening, harassing, communicating with or sending unwanted presents to another or interfering with another’s property. That prohibited course of conduct may be committed directly by the individual charged or by another acting on their behalf (like a Connecticut private investigator).
Third-Degree and Electronic Stalking
The least serious stalking crimes are defined in Section 53a-181e and 53a-181f of the Connecticut code. Stalking in the third degree occurs when an individual recklessly (in other words, not intentionally) makes another person fear physical harm by repeatedly following or waiting for that person.
Similarly, an individual may be found guilty of electronic stalking when the individual puts another person in fear for their physical safety by using a global positioning system / GPS or any type of electronic monitoring system to track the movements of that person. Both of these offenses are Class B misdemeanors punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Fighting Connecticut First Degree Stalking Arrests
First Degree Stalking is when you commit Second Degree Stalking and one of three additional factors is present:
- A prior conviction for first or second-degree stalking
- Actions taken in violation of a court order
- Actions taken toward a minor under the age of 16
Jail penalties for First Degree Stalking can include up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Benefit of Speaking with an Attorney
As any Connecticut stalking lawyer could explain, stalking arrests arise from a pattern of behavior, not a single act. Depending on the circumstances, the intent of the individual involved and any prior convictions, the offense may be classified as stalking in the first, second or third degree. Lawmakers have also created a separate electronic stalking crime under CGS 53a-181f, governing the use of GPS to track the location of others.
Fighting stalking charges in Connecticut can be a difficult prospect because the laws are drafted and enforced so broadly. A Connecticut stalking lawyers who have experience defending stalking cases will know how courts have ruled in different types of situations and how to craft a dependable defensive strategy based on the circumstances of your case.