If you are accused of a stalking offense, you need to take action to make sure the court well understands your account of the facts. Your conduct may have been completely harmless, but a stalking offense charge can be extremely damaging to you. You will need to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who knows how to build the best possible case for your defense and fight to win for you in criminal court. A top Idaho criminal defense attorney will make sure that the truth of your case is understood by the court and that all your rights are protected.
Sawtooth Defense Lawyers, Boise, Idaho, is a highly effective criminal defense firm. We will provide you with a free legal consultation. We will listen carefully to the details of your case and discuss your options with you for developing the most effective defense.
Is Stalking a Criminal Offense?
Yes. But, under what circumstances can you be charged with stalking? You might be accused of stalking by a former spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, someone you briefly dated, coworker, or other person. If you called multiple times by phone, drove past the person’s home or workplace multiple times, or just contacted the person over the internet multiple times, a misdemeanor stalking charge may be filed.
The charge against you can be escalated to felony stalking if:
- If you had a deadly weapon when you came in contact with your accuser.
- If you had intended to cause your accuser emotional distress or fear of injury.
- There is a violation of a current restraining order.
- If the accuser is a child under 16 years of age.
- You have had a stalking convict in the past 7 years.
Penalties for Stalking in Idaho
The level of crime and severity of punishment assessed for alleged occurrences of a stalking offense can be expected to escalate after a 1st offense stalking conviction and again after a 2nd offense stalking conviction.
However, the legal determination of the precise level of criminal offense and appropriate sentencing in cases of alleged stalking after the first conviction are subject to interpretation and evaluation of the facts by the court in each case.
Generally, a conviction for felony stalking in Idaho carries a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in state prison and up to a $10,000 fine. (Utah 18-7905)
Is Stalking a Federal Offense?
U.S. legislation was passed in 1996 that made interstate stalking a federal crime. That means that if you have traveled across state lines to engage in stalking activities you may face federal prosecution as well as state charges.
Defenses in Stalking Cases
Perceptions of stalking can be subject to interpretation. We work with all the facts to clarify your actions and focus on having the charges against you dismissed or reduced to a misdemeanor. Sometimes, just a promise to keep away from the accuser is sufficient to get charges dismissed.
If the stalking charge has evolved from a domestic violence matter, and you are accused of violating a protective order, we can highlight custody issues, property division issues, or other possible underlying conflicts.
What to Do if You are Arrested for Stalking
Finding yourself under arrest can be a shocking and bewildering situation. If you’ve never been in that circumstance, it can be confusing to figure out what you should do next. The first thing you need to do is ask to call your lawyer. Then respectfully state that you need to wait to speak to the police until your attorney advises you either by phone or in person.
Be sure you only work with an excellent Boise criminal defense lawyer with a strong track record and experience in stalking defense.
Before You Talk to Police, Call Sawtooth Defense Lawyers
We defend people charged with stalking in Idaho. We start working immediately to win an acquittal, have the charges substantially reduced, or get the charges dismissed entirely in some cases. We’re here to guide you through the criminal court processes and keep you out of jail.