Weston Stalking Lawyer
You can get arrested for Stalking in Connecticut relatively easily because it is a subjective crime. That is because a stalking arrest depends on whether someone feels scared or is in fear of physical harm. Stalking is also not just a single act, as is the case for most crimes, but requires repeated conduct such as placing multiple phone calls or waiting for someone to arrive home or at their place of work on numerous occasions.
So if you have been arrested for Stalking in Weston Connecticut, then you should plan to meet with a Weston stalking lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled harassment attorney could help you fight the charges and avoid mistakes that could result in a permanent criminal record.
What is Stalking and Electronic Stalking?
Lawmakers in Connecticut have updated stalking laws to account for changes in technology. For instance, the crime of electronic stalking under CGS 53a-181f has been enacted to include instances where individuals engage in stalking using GPS devices and other electronic means of surveillance. In addition, statutes include communications by any means which includes text messages and emails. The laws now protect individuals not only against fear of physical harm but also damage to a victim’s employment or career.
There are three different degrees of stalking defined in Connecticut statutes in addition to electronic stalking. The actions that are considered stalking are similar, but different scenarios dictate whether the offense is treated more or less severely.
Second-degree stalking under CGS 53a-181d consists of engaging in a course of conduct that would cause fear in a reasonable person. The fear could be for the physical safety of themselves or another or for the continuance of their job or career.
What is a Course of Conduct?
As a Weston stalking lawyer can explain, a course of conduct is defined by repeated conduct, such as waiting outside for someone to leave the office or sending unwanted gifts. If an individual engages in this pattern of behavior with the intent to cause fear, then you can get charged in Weston Connecticut with stalking in the second degree under CGS 53a-181d.
By contrast, if the individual instills fear in a person under the age of 16, violates a court order or has a prior conviction for stalking in the second degree, then you can get arrested for felony first degree stalking under CGS 53a-181c.
What are the Associated Jail Penalties?
In Connecticut, first-degree stalking is treated as a Class D felony. Those convicted can be sentenced to up to five years in prison as well as a fine of up to $5,000. Second-degree stalking is classified as a Class A misdemeanor with maximum penalties that include up to one year of imprisonment and a fine as high as $2,000. Third-degree and electronic stalking are considered Class B misdemeanors. The maximum penalty for those offenses includes fines of up to $1,000 and incarceration for up to six months.
Help from an Experienced Weston Stalking Attorney
Police in Weston CT may charge an individual with stalking based on actions undertaken with innocent intentions or actions taken by a third party. The statutes are written so broadly that is essential to understand how courts have interpreted the laws in order the build the best defensive strategy.
Working with an attorney who is thoroughly familiar with stalking cases can be the key to a successful defense. Any of the top Weston stalking lawyers can explain your options, provide guidance throughout the process, and serve as your advocate to help achieve the best possible result.