Stalking

Stalking Charges in CA

Santa Ana criminal defense attorney fighting stalking & harassment charges!

Have you been wrongfully accused of stalking or any form of sexual harassment? Talk to a Santa Ana criminal attorney at our law firm to see how you can challenge these charges to avoid serious criminal penalties. California Penal Code § 646.9 defines stalking as a course of conduct that involves undesired following, threatening, or continually contacting a person in such a way as to put them in fear for their safety or the safety of their family. Continued phone calls, watching the victim, making actual threats, and following the victim around may all be actions that would be considered stalking.

In situations of this kind, a victim may seek a restraining order against the alleged stalker and criminal charges could be filed against you. Stalking is a crime that may be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the particular situation. These types of offenses are known as "wobblers" and require the representation of an aggressive and skilled attorney. A second stalking offense and stalking in violation of probation or a restraining order are automatic felonies, however, making them more serious offenses.

Penalties for Stalking

When facing charges of criminal stalking, a defendant may face the following penalties:

  • Misdemeanor Stalking:
    • Informal probation
    • Up to 12 months in county jail
    • Counseling
    • Maximum fine of $1,000
  • Felony Stalking:
    • Formal probation
    • 16 months to 5 years in state prison
    • Counseling
    • Restraining order
    • Potential sex offender registration
    • Maximum fine of $1,000

These penalties can have a long-lasting or permanent impact on your life. Your finances could be ruined due to the unexpected high fines, your reputation will be in shambles, and your career could be placed on an entirely different trajectory. Also, you could be limited regarding housing and travel if you are required to register as a sex offender. You will be unable to live or work within a certain distance of a school, daycare, community center, playground, or other place where children congregate regularly, regardless of whether or not your offense was child-related.

Searching for a Santa Ana Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Stalking charges may be filed for the wrong reasons. An alleged victim may make false allegations of stalking for reasons of revenge, jealousy, or even in a child custody battle in an effort to influence the court. Unfounded stalking accusations can have a serious impact on you with regard to your employment, reputation, and your personal life. Make sure you retain an experienced criminal lawyer who can protect your legal rights in an investigation or criminal charges for stalking, harassment or any related offense in the Santa Ana area. Contact Thomas Tears, Attorney at Law right away for the representation you need to obtain a dismissal.