Question: She was responding to my calls or emails. I was just trying to discuss things with her, and then she accused me of stalking! What do I do now?
This is a common predicament especially if your actions of trying to approach someone are viewed as not being legitimate. Stalking behaviors can consist of physically following a person and/or continuously calling, texting, emailing or leaving notes with malicious intent. Stalking is considered a misdemeanor in Georgia and penalties include $1,000 fine and up to 1 year in prison and possibly a permanent protective order for the victim. Aggravated stalking is charged when there was an attempt to contact a person in violation of a protective order already in place. Penalties for aggravated stalking, which is a felony, include $10,000 fine and 1 to 10 years in prison.
In order to be convicted of stalking, the burden of proof lies with the prosecution. The jury must believe beyond a reasonable doubt that:
1. The alleged stalker did indeed willfully and maliciously harass or follow the defendant repeatedly.
2. The defendant was fearful of injury or death and that any other reasonable person would likewise fear for their safety due to the stalking behaviors.
3. A credible threat was actually made whether verbally or written.
There are a number of defenses that your attorney may argue in court to bring to light that your actions did not clearly meet the definition of stalking:
- The accusations are uncredible lies that simply do not rise to the level of a crime.
- You do have the right to speech which is protected under the First Amendment.
- The contact and subsequent communication was invited by the defendant.
- You were in the same location as the defendant for other reasons and not for stalking.
If you are being charged for stalking, don’t take it lightly. Not only are the penalties harsh, but the conviction stays on your record. Call The Schiffer Firm today to aggressively defend you against false allegations of stalking or other domestic violence matters. (404) 842-0909