New Canaan Stalking Lawyer
Stalking is not something that just happens to celebrities with crazed fans. In fact, the crime is frequently charged in connection with domestic violence cases in New Canaan. Due to the broad definition of the crime under Connecticut law, stalking is prosecuted in a wide range of circumstances, some of which may not be warranted.
The potential penalties include substantial terms of imprisonment and large fines. So if you have been arrested for stalking, then it is a good idea to contact a New Canaan stalking lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled harassment attorney can help you avoid making mistakes that can compound the offense. In addition, they can preserve surveillance evidence that will help you achieve a fair resolution of your case.
What is Considered Stalking?
Connecticut statutes contain four versions of stalking as a criminal offense. Three of these are treated as misdemeanors, and one is a felony. All Connecticut stalking crimes carry serious consequences.
Unlike other crimes, stalking is not a single act but a series of actions referred to as a course of conduct. This conduct will be considered a crime if the activity causes another person to fear physical danger or endangerment of their employment or career.
Since there is no criminal courthouse in the area, all arrests for stalking are transferred to Norwalk Superior Court. Be sure to speak with a top stalking attorney in New Canaan before going into court.
What is Third Degree Stalking ?
As defined in Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-181e of the Connecticut criminal code, the stalking offense with the least severe penalties is stalking in the third degree. As experienced criminal lawyers can explain, this offense occurs when an individual acts recklessly and puts another person in fear for their safety because of the repeated action of following or lying in wait for that person. Third-degree stalking is a Class B misdemeanor and is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Another Class B misdemeanor offense is electronic stalking under CGS 53a-181f, a newly enacted crime which consists of repeatedly using a GPS or other monitoring system to track the location of another person in a reckless manner that causes fear. Follow this link to learn more about fighting GPS device electronic stalking arrests in Connecticut.
What is Second Degree Stalking?
As a more serious offense, stalking in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor and the maximum penalties increase with a potential fine of up to $2,000 and the possibility of up to 1 year in prison. Second Degree Stalking is codified in CGS § 53a-181d. Under this law, an individual may be found guilty of second degree stalking when engaging in a course of conduct aimed at another person and that conduct would put a reasonable person in fear for their personal safety or the safety of their business or career
A course of conduct is defined to include at least two separate acts, such as following another, lying in wait, observing another, threatening someone, harassing another, communicating with or sending unwelcome gifts to someone, or interfering with another person’s property. A stalking attorney in New Canaan can explain how the law pertains to each individual’s potential case.
First Degree Stalking Arrests
The most serious stalking offense builds on the definition of second degree stalking. If an individual undertakes a course of conduct that could be considered second degree stalking, the offense will be increased to stalking in the first degree if one of three factors is present:
- An act that violates a court order
- The person being stalked is under the age of 16
- A prior conviction for first or second degree stalking
Stalking in the first degree is a Class D felony with maximum penalties that include up to 5 years in prison and a fine as high as $5,000. If you have been accused of stalking of any kind, get in touch with a New Canaan stalking attorney and learn more about your legal options.
Discuss Your Case with a New Canaan Stalking Attorney Today
In stalking cases, it is vital to understand how the courts have applied laws and statutes in different circumstances. Backed by in-depth knowledge, you and your legal team can craft the most successful defense strategies for your unique situation.
A New Canaan stalking lawyer provides advice and counsel throughout all proceedings, guiding you through the process in a manner calculated to lead to the optimum outcome. Contact a criminal lawyer to get started.