STALKING

 

A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person. As defined by Georgia law, the term “harassing and intimidating” means a knowing, willful, and patterned course of conduct directed at a specific person, which causes emotional distress by placing the person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family with no legitimate purpose. Stalking can also be established by showing that a person has violated a temporary or permanent restraining or protective order; preliminary or permanent injunction; condition of pretrial release; condition of probation; or a condition of parole that would, in effect, prohibit the harassment or intimidation of another person.

 

Statutory Punishment

Stalking, on first conviction, is a misdemeanor.

 

On a second and all subsequent convictions, a defendant may be punished by imprisonment for no less than one but not more than ten years.

 

Before sentencing a defendant for any conviction of stalking or aggravated stalking, the sentencing judge may require psychological evaluation of the convicted and will consider his or her entire criminal record. At the time of sentencing, the judge is authorized to issue a permanent restraining order against the defendant to protect the person stalked and the members of that person’s immediate family Additionally, the judge is authorized to require psychological treatment of the offender as a part of the sentence, or as a condition for suspension or stay of sentence, or for probation.

 

The Problem

The crime of stalking has the potential to carry very serious consequences. A person could be sentenced up to ten years. According to the statute, the crime is established based upon the victim’s subjective sense of intimidation. In other words, the victim need only to feel threatened – and not actually be threatened – in order to prove the crime. Once this occurs, the prosecution will only need to show a pattern of harassment to win the conviction.

 

The Solution

Don’t leave the fate of having a criminal record or your freedom up to chance. It is the prosecutor’s job to win convictions; in court, their win is your loss. You need a competent lawyer that will fearlessly and aggressively fight for your best interests. You need to hire ROY YUNKER LAW.