New Canaan Stalking Lawyer
Stalking is not something that just happens to celebrities with crazed fans. The crime can be frequently charged in New Canaan, Connecticut in connection with domestic violence cases. 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 in New Canaan, Connecticut 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 try to avoid making mistakes that can compound the offense and to preserve surveillance evidence that will help you achieve a possible 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, that will be considered a crime if the stalking activity cause another person to fear physical danger or endangerment of their employment or career.
All New Canaan, Connecticut arrests for Stalking are transferred to Norwalk Superior Court because there is no criminal courthouse in New Canaan. So be sure to speak with a top New Canaan stalking lawyer before going into court.
What is Third Degree Stalking in New Canaan?
The stalking offense with the least severe penalties is stalking in the third degree, defined in CGS § 53a-181e of the Connecticut criminal code. As any of the best New Canaan, Connecticut 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 in New Canaan?
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.
First Degree Stalking Arrests in New Canaan
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:
- A prior conviction for first or second degree stalking
- An act that violates a court order
- The person being stalked is under the age of 16
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.
Benefit of Discussing a Stalking Case with an Attorney
In stalking cases, it is vital to understand not only the law but also how the courts have applied the statutes in different circumstances and the most successful defense strategies based on the situation. A New Canaan stalking lawyer can provide advice and counsel all throughout the proceedings, guiding you through the process in a manner calculated to lead to the optimum outcome in your case. Contact a criminal lawyer to get started.