Stalking Laws in Virginia
October 29, 2020
Certain actions may constitute stalking and result in criminal charges in Virginia. If a person is convicted of stalking, then they may face significant penalties. If you have been charged with stalking, you should seek out legal representation from an experienced Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney.
What is considered to be stalking?
According to Virginia law, a person who acts with the intent to place another in reasonable fear of death, injury or sexual assault and does so on more than one occasion may be charged with stalking. Because stalking requires more than one event, there must be some identifiable course of conduct that the person has engaged in.
The types of behaviors that could constitute stalking may include:
- Threats in person or via telephone, text message, email, social media, and through third persons
- Maintaining surveillance on a person without their consent
- Contacting a person’s place of employment
- Following a person
If you have been accused of stalking, then visit with a criminal lawyer Fairfax va to see if the conduct you are alleged to have committed qualifies as stalking.
What are the penalties for stalking?
The penalties imposed for stalking depend on whether you have prior offenses. For a first offense stalking charge, then you face up to 12 months in jail and could have a fine of up to $2,500. The court may also issue an order which prohibits contact with the alleged victim.
If you have a prior stalking conviction within the last 5 years and receive a subsequent stalking charge, then it may be charged as a felony. This could result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years and a fine up to $2,500.
If there are two prior stalking convictions within a 5 year period, then the charge would be a felony and the penalty range would remain at up to 5 years in prison. However, since there are prior convictions, your chances of receiving a prison sentence are increased substantially.
What should you do if charged with stalking?
If you are charged with stalking, you should immediately cease any contact and communication with the person alleged to have been stalked. Because you have the right to remain silent, you should exercise this right and not speak with law enforcement until you have had the chance to consult with a Fairfax criminal attorney. You should contact a criminal defense attorney fairfax VA as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected.
How can an attorney help?
A criminal defense lawyer fairfax VA can provide legal advice and representation to assist you throughout all phases of the case. An attorney will help you understand your rights and how to exercise those rights. An attorney will also help you understand how the law applies to your case and what to expect during the process.
An attorney will advocate on your behalf and seek to obtain the best result possible under the circumstances. An attorney will take whatever action is necessary to invoke your rights and raise the applicable defenses. An attorney will represent you in court and help ensure that your case is handled in accordance with the applicable procedures.
When choosing an attorney, it is important to seek out a Fairfax VA criminal law firm that has experience defending individuals who are facing significant criminal charges. At Rudolphi Law, our legal team has the necessary experience and knowledge to successfully defend our clients and achieve a fair result.
If you are facing charges for stalking or another criminal offense, contact Rudolphi Law today.