Sandy Springs Stalking Lawyer
Being charged with a stalking offense is a serious matter. A conviction could require you not only to suffer harsh consequences in the form of a fine and jail time, but you may also be burdened with the social stigma of having been convicted of such offense. As a result, you should do whatever it takes to avoid having a stalking conviction on your record. Many stalking charges are made by alleged victims who are unaware of the elements of the offense.
If you are confronted with a stalking charge and would like to know more about the justification for it and how to defend such a charge, speak with a Sandy Springs stalking lawyer today. A skilled defense attorney at Hawkins Spizman could guide you through the criminal process and provide you with guidance along the way. Schedule a consultation today to get started on your case.
What Actions Would Merit a Stalking Charge?
Title 16, chapter 5, Article 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (“O.C.G.A.”) addresses criminal offenses related to stalking. Stalking occurs when someone follows another person, contacts them, or places them under surveillance in a particular area, without their consent, to harass or intimidate them. Stalking may also occur when someone, with reason to believe harassment will result, broadcasts or publishes another person’s picture or contact information while a condition of bond, a court order, injunction, or condition of release, probation, or parole, legally prohibits such harassment.
In many cases, stalking constitutes a misdemeanor. A second conviction constitutes a felony for which the penalty can include imprisonment for one to ten years. The sentencing judge may require a psychological evaluation before sentencing, issue a permanent restraining order as part of the sentence, or require psychological treatment either as part of the sentence or as a condition for suspending the sentence, staying the sentence, or allowing parole.
Aggravated stalking occurs when someone engages in stalking in violation of a condition of bond, a court order, injunction, or condition that, in effect, prohibits such behavior. This offense would be charged as a felony and could include a term of imprisonment for one to ten years and a fine of up to $10,000 upon conviction.
Someone charged with aggravated stalking, or someone previously convicted and subsequently charged again with stalking, faces potentially severe constraints on their freedom and finances. A person in this situation hoping to avoid a burdensome penalty, or perhaps avoid conviction altogether, should consult with a stalking attorney in Sandy Springs to assess their legal options.
Publication of Conviction in Sandy Springs
When someone with a prior conviction of stalking or aggravated stalking receives a second or subsequent conviction, the legal organ (usually a local newspaper) of the county in which they reside will, as directed by the court clerk, publish a notice of the conviction. If the person convicted resides outside the state, the legal organ of the county of conviction will publish the notice. Conviction notices, which by statute occupy one column and measure two inches in length, disclose how a case was disposed of, the convicted person’s name and address, and the date, time, and place of their arrest.
Someone in Sandy Springs with a prior stalking conviction who faces a subsequent charge should speak with a stalking attorney about the consequences arising from a repeat conviction and potential methods for avoiding them.
Make a Practical Move by Consulting with a Stalking Lawyer
Prosecution for stalking, like any criminal prosecution, requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt of all elements of the offense. The accused must have the purpose of “harassing and intimidating.” The alleged contacting, following, or surveying must take place without the consent of the person making the allegations.
A lawyer experienced in defending individuals who face stalking charges may know useful methods for refuting elements like these, as well as potential defenses to raise on their behalf. The attorneys at Hawkins Spizman do not charge a fee for an initial consultation. Take a practical step and contact a Sandy Springs stalking lawyer to discuss your case and see what sort of insight an attorney can offer.