Defending Against Stalking Charges
In New York, stalking is a serious crime that can be a misdemeanor or felony. Irrespective of whether you’re facing a misdemeanor or felony charge, one common element shared among all four degrees of the crime is that you, the accused, have been or are currently engaged in certain behavior directed at another person. Typically, stalking involves a pattern of following, monitoring, or watching another person with the intention of harassing, intimidating, frightening, or causing the person emotional distress. Below, we discuss the circumstances that make stalking a felony, things you should do and avoid doing when facing stalking charges, and the defenses that can help you fight stalking charges.
Circumstances That Make Stalking a Felony
As already stated, stalking can be a misdemeanor or felony in New York. In the state of New York, stalking can be a felony if, among other things;
- the offender used a weapon to commit the crime
- the target feared serious physical injury, material harm, for their safety, or death
- the crime is a second or subsequent offense
- the victim is 14 years of age, and the perpetrator is 21 years of age or older
Things You Should Do and Avoid Doing When Facing Stalking Charges
First, if you are facing stalking charges, it is crucial that you retain the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Secondly, you need to be honest with your attorney. It is vital that you share with your attorney every information you have about your case. Your attorney will only be able to help you fight the charges you are facing if they know everything there is to know about your case.
As it pertains to the things you should avoid doing if you’re facing stalking charges, the list is endless. But the following are some of the biggest mistakes people make when facing stalking charges that you should avoid making;
- talking to the victim about the case or contacting the victim
- speaking to law enforcement officers or investigators without an attorney present
- giving evidence to law enforcement officers without consulting with an attorney first
Even if you believe that a piece of evidence can help prove your innocence, it is crucial that you avoid giving it to law enforcement officers without first consulting your defense attorney.
Possible Defenses To Stalking Charges
Once you retain a criminal defense attorney, they will help you create a defense strategy. The defense strategy that your attorney develops will depend entirely on the specifics of your case. But the following are some of the possible defenses that your attorney may use to fight your stalking charges;
- the prosecution was not able to prove every element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt
- the victim lied
- the victim mistook you for another person
A qualified criminal defense attorney will assess your case and advise you on the best way to fight your charges. With a strong defense strategy, an attorney can help you get your charges reduced or even dropped.
Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney for Legal Help
If you’ve been arrested and charged with stalking in NYC or anywhere in New York and need help from a skilled criminal defense attorney, contact the NYC criminal defense attorney, Mark I. Cohen, at 212-732-0002.