Stamford Stalking Lawyer
Our experienced harassment attorneys are seeing more arrests for stalking and electronic stalking in domestic violence situations. Divorcing couples are aggressively using GPS devices, private investigators, and even drones to conduct surveillance on cheating spouses and significant others. Speak with a Stamford stalking lawyer right away.
What is Stalking?
Connecticut penal law defines four different types of criminal stalking. The offenses are similar in construction but the penalties vary depending on circumstances such as the intent of the party committing the acts and the age of the party complaining of the offense. The types of conduct that is considered stalking includes:
- following another
- lying in wait for another
- observing another
- threatening someone
- harassing another
- communicating with
- sending unwelcome gifts to someone
- interfering with another person’s property
One aspect that separates stalking from other crimes is that the offense is not based on a single act but rather engaging in a course of conduct, meaning a series of two or more acts.
These acts must be directed at another person and cause that person to reasonably fear for their own physical safety, the safety of third person or the loss of employment. An attorney in Stamford could help someone accused of stalking.
Defining Electronic Stalking
The least serious forms of this offense are electronic stalking CGS 53a-181f and stalking in the third degree CGS 53a-181e. When someone uses an electronic monitoring system such as a Global Positioning Service (GPS) device to track another person and the repeated use causes that person to fear physical harm, such conduct is considered electronic stalking.
An individual who repeatedly follows or waits for another person, not intending to cause fear but recklessly causing such fear, can be arrested in Connecticut for stalking in the third degree. Both of these offenses are classified as Class B misdemeanors and the maximum punishment is limited to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
First-Degree vs. Second Degree Stalking Charges
If an individual is acting with the intent of causing fear in another person and the actions would cause such fear in a reasonable person, the course of conduct may be considered stalking in the second degree under CGS 53a-181d, which is a Class A misdemeanor. The potential penalties increase to one year of imprisonment and a fine as high as $2,000.
When an individual undertakes a deliberate, intentional course of action that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety and the actions do cause such fear, the offense can escalate to stalking in the first degree if one of three additional factors are present.
The offense increases in severity if the individual placed in fear is under the age of 16, if the individual taking the actions has a prior conviction for second-degree stalking, or if the actions violate a court order. First-degree stalking is classified as a Class D felony. This means the offense can be punished by a fine of up to $5,000 and incarceration for up to five years. An attorney in Stamford could help someone mitigate the potential penalties of a stalking charge.
Contact a Stamford Stalking Attorney
Although there are different degrees of criminal stalking, these arrests carry potential penalties that include imprisonment and hefty fines. So if you have been arrested for this offense, then call a Stamford stalking lawyer and who can file motions on your behalf to preserve digital evidence that can help you get your case dismissed.
Those involved in these cases need to understand not only the Connecticut statutes but also how courts have interpreted the laws in a wide range of circumstances. Such knowledge is crucial to build the best defensive strategy. A lawyer can provide assistance right away to help avoid mistakes and begin working toward the best possible solution.