Charged With Stalking? Do These 3 Things Now!
Charged With Stalking? Do These 3 Things Now!Stalking is a serious crime bearing serious consequences if found guilty of it. Examples of stalking include:
- Following someone or showing up at (or even driving by) their property or place of employment
- Monitoring someone’s computer, phone, or social media activity
- Online harassment or cyberstalking
- Tracking someone via GPS
- Giving unwanted email, letters, or gifts
- Photographing or videotaping someone
- Gathering information about someone using public records, internet searches, private investigators, or through personal contacts
- Threatening someone or their family members, friends, or pets
- Damaging someone’s property
1. Avoid Any Contact With the VictimThis is very important. Do not try to talk to the victim or have any contact whatsoever. Keep your distance lest you provide the prosecutor any further evidence of stalking.
2. Know Your RightsIf you’ve been charged with stalking, you still have certain rights. Some of them include:
- You have the right to enter a plea of not guilty.
- You are presumed innocent throughout the trial until the prosecution presents evidence to prove you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- You (or your attorney) have the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses at your trial (should you have one).
- You have the right to present evidence in your own defense.
- You have the right to remain silent and your silence cannot be used against you.
- After the trial, you have the right to appeal to a higher court.
3. Get a Good Defense LawyerAs soon as you are charged, get yourself a good, experienced defense attorney, one that knows the ins and outs of local stalking laws and is familiar with solid defense tactics. Common defenses include:
- The victim did not act reasonably when developing a belief of fear.
- The offender’s activity is constitutionally protected.
- The victim either intentionally or mistakenly identified the wrong person.
- The victim lied about details.
- Failure to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
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