How To Address Stalking Charges
If you have been accused of stalking, you have the right to fight the charges. An experienced attorney can help. At Pearson & Paris, P.C., we have more than 50 years of combined legal experience that we will use in your defense. Perhaps more importantly, our top criminal defense attorney is a former senior prosecutor who knows how district attorneys handle these cases. That knowledge allows us to create effective strategies ranging from negotiation to courtroom battles.
Call us at 303-872-4719 in the Greater Denver area or toll free at 303-872-4719 across Colorado for an initial consultation at reduced Rates.
Whether in the Denver area or anywhere in Colorado, stalking is committed in two distinct ways: (1) a person knowingly makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, either repeatedly follows that person or repeatedly communicates with that person, or (2) a person knowingly, without making any credible threats, nonetheless either repeatedly follows another person or repeatedly communicates with that person, in a way that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does in fact result in that person, or someone in that person’s immediate family, to suffer emotional distress.
Possible Consequences For Stalking
Stalking is generally charged as a class 5 felony, but it could be charged as a class 4 felony if (1) the person has a prior conviction for stalking within seven years of the instant offense, or (2) there was a protection order in place at the time of the stalking.
When a person is convicted of class 5 felony stalking, he or she may be sentenced to: (1) probation, with a possible jail sentence as a condition of probation of up to 90 days, or up to a two-year work release sentence as a condition of probation, or (2) the offense is punishable by a prison sentence of one to three years, with a possible sentence of up to six years if the court finds the presence of exceptional circumstances, with a mandatory parole period of two years.
Possible Defenses For Stalking
To convict someone of stalking, the prosecution must prove that the person acted knowingly. This means that merely running into a person at the local department store or in town on multiple occasions does not, in and of itself, amount to stalking. The defense would then focus on reconstructing the encounters as much as possible to demonstrate that they were accidental.
A second defense may be provided by the First Amendment rights that we all enjoy — freedom of speech, freedom to petition the government and freedom to access the court system. For example, filing multiple lawsuits (i.e., communications) may well cause the named defendant in those lawsuits serious emotional distress. Yet in such a case, the defense will attempt to demonstrate that litigation is part of American life and that no “reasonable person” would suffer serious emotional distress over this situation.
The remaining defenses that may be applied in a stalking case apply with equal force to those that may apply in any other criminal case. This includes an analysis of any violation of constitutional rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to counsel, the right to have any searches and seizures based on probable cause, a proper warrant, and the right to due process in the proper preservation of evidence that may be used against you. Many other defenses are available that rely on scrutinizing and exposing weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case, such as biased or incompetent witnesses, flawed crime scene investigation, flawed administration and procedures in collecting breath, blood or urine for forensic testing, incompetent computer evidence, flawed photo lineups and inaccurate crime scene/accident reconstructions.
It is important that you hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer to defend you in a stalking case in Lakewood, Jefferson County, or across Colorado.