Have You Been Accused of Stalking? Here’s Some Vital Information About This Crime
New York, like all the other 49 states, considers stalking a crime. If you stand accused of stalking, you should not take such an accusation lightly. Stalking is a serious offense that bears serious consequences.
As an accused person, you might be feeling confused. When it comes to stalking, feelings of confusion on the part of the accused are expected. This is because it can sometimes be difficult for an accused person to comprehend how their actions resulted in them being charged with stalking. To help your case, you must understand what constitutes stalking and work with a qualified criminal defense attorney.
What Is Stalking?
Stalking is repeated intentional and unwelcome pursuit, usually through harassment or threats, of another individual. A one-time action may not be considered stalking.
Whether you stand accused of repeatedly threatening or harassing an ex-partner or a total stranger, you risk facing harsh consequences if convicted of stalking.
It is important to note that stalking does not only involve physical threats or pursuit. It can also involve electronic communications (Cyberstalking). This type of stalking is a growing problem, especially in this technological era. Because of the anonymity cyberstalking provides, many people opt to adopt this type of stalking. New York does not condone either cyberstalking or physical stalking. Both forms of stalking are bound to instill fear and cause harm to victims.
Typical stalking behavior includes;
- Repeated and unwelcome communication through texts, calls, emails, or even social media posts.
- Following a victim to their school, work, or home.
- Following a victim’s family members, co-workers, or friends.
- Sending unwelcome gifts to a victim.
- Abusing or killing a victim’s pet.
- Employing a private investigator to follow a victim and investigate them.
Victims of stalking suffer tremendously. Some suffer from anxiety and feelings of vulnerability. Others become unproductive at work while others’ daily living routines become disrupted. Because of such adverse effects, most people who believe they are victims of stalking don’t rest until they get justice.
Stalking Laws in New York
There are four degrees of stalking that is; first, second, third, and fourth degrees.
Stalking in the fourth degree is considered a class B misdemeanor. If you’re convicted of the crime of stalking in the fourth degree, you risk serving up to 90 days in jail. You also could end up paying a fine of up to $500.
Stalking in the third degree is categorized as a class A misdemeanor. If convicted of this third-degree crime, you could spend up to 1 year in jail. You could also end up paying a monetary fine of up to $1,000.
A second-degree stalking crime is considered a class E felony. The penalty for this felony crime is a jail term of up to 4 years. Guilty individuals also risk paying a fine of up to $5,000.
Stalking in the first degree is a class D felony. If convicted of stalking in the first degree, you could spend up to 7 years in jail. This first-degree crime also carries a fine of up to $5,000.
Contact an NYC Criminal Defense Attorney Today