helps people win back their lives
Clarkston Stalking Lawyer
Common behaviors like calling someone on the telephone may be used as evidence of stalking under certain circumstances. Convictions on such charges carry significant penalties, but a Clarkston stalking lawyer can fight by your side for the best possible outcome. If you are facing stalking charges, it may be beneficial to speak with a seasoned criminal defense attorney who can study your case and help you prepare for a potential trial.Stalking Defined
Stalking is defined in Michigan Penal Code §750.411h (1)(d) as willful repeated or continuing harassment that is meant to threaten, intimidate, or frighten another person. Harassment is conduct directed towards someone that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress.
Such conduct often involves non-consensual contact, which means continually contacting a person after they have expressed a desire to be left alone. Sometimes stalking charges come with allegations of sex crimes. Contact without consent might include commonplace activities, like making an unwarranted phone call or email. Harassment laws do not prohibit contact made for constitutionally protected or legitimate reasons.When Does Harassment Become Stalking?
Harassment becomes stalking when the behaviors in question are repeated for purposes of intimidating or terrorizing someone. Intimidation may qualify as assault in some cases. Frequent late-night phone calls, following someone home, or continually sending a person threatening messages are all examples of behavior that police might consider stalking.
The difference between harassment, stalking, and legal behavior is not always clear, but police and prosecutors often take accusations seriously and may attempt to charge an accused person with the most serious offense possible. An experienced Clarkston stalking attorney can review your case and evaluate whether appropriate charges were filed based on the evidence.Possible Defenses to Stalking
Available defenses in a stalking case depend on the specific facts of the case. If applicable, knowledgeable legal counsel may be able to argue on your behalf that:
- You were engaged in constitutionally protected speech
- The contact in question was consensual
- Messages or phone calls were not threatening
- There was a legitimate reason for the behavior, such as common coincidence
Like available defenses, penalties for stalking in Clarkston depend on the circumstances. In most cases, stalking is usually a misdemeanor punishable up to one year of jail and a fine of not more than $1,000.
However, in some cases, stalking may carry stiffer penalties. If the alleged victim is a minor or has a restraining order against the accused, then stalking is a felony with up to five years of prison time and a $10,000 fine. Likewise, if law enforcement believes that an accused person made credible threats, these harsher felony penalties might apply.
Some circumstances may be considered aggravated stalking, leading to enhanced penalties. Even misdemeanor charges can result in lifelong consequences. However, a stalking defense lawyer in Clarkston may be able to help you fight for a positive outcome no matter what specific charge you face.A Clarkston Stalking Attorney Can Be a Compelling Advocate
Stalking laws can be vague and confusing, especially given how aggressively law enforcement often pursues these types of charges. A Clarkston stalking lawyer may be able to offer valuable advice and be your dedicated advocate in the courtroom. Call today to arrange a consultation.