Richmond Stalking Penalties 

Stalking is a serious criminal offense that can sometimes lead to a felony conviction. It is important to proceed carefully if you have been charged with a stalking offense. If you face Richmond stalking penalties, speak with an accomplished stalking attorney that could help you mitigate the penalties that you face. Your lawyer could work tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome for you.

Behavior That Leads to Stalking Charges

Anything can lead to stalking charges but, there are baseline behaviors that could lead to someone facing stalking charges. Stalking behaviors include:

  • Standing outside of someone’s home
  • Looking through people’s windows
  • Multiple unwanted phone calls
  • Threats
  • Unwarranted or unwanted visits
  • Multiple emails
  • Multiple social media contacts

Doing any of these things can lead to a stalking charge depending on the alleged victim.

Harassment and Other Criminal Offenses That Count as Stalking

Things that are considered harassment that are not considered as stalking would be things such as phone threats. So, aggressive or abusive language over a phone, email or social networking, along with maybe one unsolicited visit can be considered harassment but not rise to the level of stalking.

If someone violates a protective order, they could face Richmond stalking penalties as well. Of course, phone threats, so threatening somebody with a phone, can be associated with stalking. Also, something as simple as a misdemeanor trespass, going where one is not supposed to go after they have been told not to be there, can also kind of tie into stalking. Stalking is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $25,000.

Aggravating Factors in Stalking Cases

The number of times one has been charged and convicted of stalking can ultimately lead to more serious Richmond stalking penalties. With a stalking charge, a third or a subsequent stalking charge conviction within a five-year time period elevates the charge from a Class 1 misdemeanor to a Class 6 felony which carries up to five years in jail.

The reason these aggravating factors have such an impact is that a repeat offender is consistently behaving in a manner that the court has ordered them not to behave in on multiple occasions. The individual has already been convicted of the same crime two times within a five-year period. The third time, they are now going to be looking at that five-year maximum penalty and, more than likely, they are going to be looking at a minimum of six months to a year in jail – not a mandatory minimum but most judges in the city do not turn a blind eye to a felony stalking.

Orders of Protection Explained

An order of protection is kind of self-explanatory. It is a document that the court draws up and signs that orders one individual to stay away from and not have contact with another. This contact is kind of prohibited over, of course, face-to-face contact, over the phone but also over social media as well. Essentially, the court orders that one person cannot contact another in any way, shape or form.

Under What Circumstances Would Someone Face an Order of Protection?

Once an individual is convicted of stalking, there is an automatic order of protection issued by the judge from the accuser against the accused or the defendant. If it is a general harassment charge such as a phone threat or – but a violation of a protective order. If someone violates a protective order, then there is going to be another protective order automatically entered into by the judge, same for a stalking charge. With a phone threats case, there is no automatic protection order entered into. However, the alleged victim in the case can petition the court for an additional – or for a protective order in that particular case.

Qualities to Look for in a Richmond Stalking Attorney

Due to the severity of Richmond stalking penalties, it is important to work with an attorney that is capable of achieving a positive outcome for you. You should look for a competent legal advocate, given the stigma that a stalking charge can carry. You should look for someone trustworthy that will fight zealously for you. A determined stalking attorney could work diligently to build your case.

Richmond Stalking Lawyer