Stalking is considered to be a serious criminal offense in the state of
California. When one person repeatedly harasses or follows another person
in an attempt to intentionally intimidate, frighten, scare or torment
his or her intended target, he or she may be charged with
stalking. Although in and of itself stalking is not a violent crime, stalking can
leave itself victims fearing for their lives or the lives of their loved
ones. Individuals who use email, social media or other online methods
to harass or threaten another person, may be considered to be cyberstalkers
and in violation of state law.
Simply following a person around does not constitute stalking. Under California
Penal Code §646.9, stalking must include the act of making a credible
threat that makes another person afraid for his or her safety. Continuously
sending emails to another person saying they'd better do as you say
"or else" can be considering as stalking. Posting regular messages
or photos to online chat rooms that contain another person's private
or personal information may constitute stalking.
Frequently sitting outside someone's house, or following them back
home, and making repeated threatening statements or gestures of violence
could be considered as stalking. Leaving multiple threatening voice messages
on a person's phone may warrant a temporary restraining order and
other legal consequences. It is important to know that California stalking
victims do not need to prove their stalker actually intended to carry
out the threat, simply proving the threat took place is enough to file
charges of stalking.
Penalties for a stalking conviction can vary from small fines and up to
a year in jail, to extensive fines and multiple years in a California
state prison. The imposed penalties will depend on the extent of the stalking,
if the stalker committed any act of violence (or threatened to kill or
harm) and whether the alleged stalker was in violation of an existing
restraining order at the time the stalking took place.
If you have been accused of stalking, your freedom and future are at stake.
We advise you call our firm and schedule to meet with former police officer
and Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist, Attorney James N. Dicks as
soon as possible. When you do, we will take immediate measures to investigate
the charges against you and prepare an aggressive strategy to help protect
Contact a San Diego criminal defense lawyer at JD Law today.