Los Angeles Stalking Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with or is being investigated for stalking, you should immediately contact an experienced Los Angeles Stalking Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail. In Los Angeles and throughout the State of California, stalking charges are serious, being convicted of stalking can result in imprisonment for up to five years in California State Prison if charged as a felony.
So, to reduce the consequences that you face, you should talk to the Experienced Stalking Defense Attorney at The H Law Group. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for you. So, whether you have been charged with misdemeanor stalking or felony stalking in Los Angeles, give our law firm and a call and we’ll represent you, ensuring that we achieve the best possible outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
Stalking Charges Under California Penal Code 646.9 PC
Penal Code Section 646.9 PC makes it a crime for a person to follow, harass, and/or threaten another person to the point where the alleged victim fears for his or her safety. In California, stalking is a wobbler, meaning the prosecution has the discretion to charge it as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Proving a Person Guilty of Stalking Charges in Los Angeles, California
For the prosecution to prove a person guilty of stalking, the prosecution must prove a number of elements true beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecutor fails to prove even one of the following elements, he will not be able to convict the defendant of stalking in violation of CPC 646.9.
The prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The defendant willfully harassed or repeatedly followed the alleged victim
- The defendant made a credible threat with the intent
- To place the alleged victim in reasonable fear for his or her safety
Note: For the purposes of the term “harassed”,” this term can refer to performing actions that annoy, torment, or terrorize the alleged victim. For example, as Jennifer is going home from school, a man follows her shouting profanities at her and telling her he wants to rape her. The man can be charged with and convicted of stalking in violation of penal code section 646.9 PC. When it comes to repeatedly following the victim, two or more acts of following are sufficient to satisfy this requirement. Also, stalking includes a large variety of conduct. For example, repeatedly calling, texting, sending unwanted notes, sending unwanted gifts, or continuously driving by or staking outside the victim’s home is all considered to be behavior that’s punishable under California Penal Code Section 646.9.
Is Stalking a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
In Los Angeles and throughout the State of California, prosecutors have the discretion to charge a person with either misdemeanor stalking or felony stalking. Usually, when making a determination whether to charge stalking as a misdemeanor or a felony, the prosecution looks at the following factors:
- The egregiousness of the defendant’s conduct
- The defendant’s past criminal history
- The age of the alleged victim
- The location of the crime
Examples of Stalking
Here are some examples of actions that can be used by the prosecution to charge an individual of stalking:
- Sending unwanted emails
- Making unwanted phone calls
- Sending unwanted text messages
- Repeatedly following another person and harassing them
- Leaving threatening voice mails
- Gathering excessive information on the alleged victim
- Posting false information about the alleged victim online
Penalties if You’re Convicted of Stalking
If the prosecution convicts a person of stalking, the penalties depend on whether the defendant was convicted of felony stalking or misdemeanor stalking.
Misdemeanor Stalking Penalties
- Conviction of a misdemeanor offense
- Up to 12 months imprisonment in county jail
- Payment of a fine of up to $1,000
- Placement on informal summary probation for three to five years
Felony Stalking Penalties
- Conviction of a felony offense
- Up to five years of imprisonment in California State Prison
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Placement on formal felony probation
Note: Absent aggravating circumstances, first time stalking offenders are usually charged with misdemeanor stalking. However, a person who engaged in stalking in violation of a restraining order or court-issued protective order will be charged with felony stalking. Also, if the defendant has previously been charged with stalking a completely different victim than the one in the current case, the defendant will likely be charged with felony stalking.
For the best possible results, you should contact a knowledgeable and experienced stalking defense attorney in Los Angeles to defend you. The stalking attorneys at our law firm have handled thousands of cases, so they have the knowledge and experience to achieve the best possible results for you.
Defenses to the Crime of Stalking
If you have been charged with stalking, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can make to defend you. Please note that the following list of defenses is not exhaustive of all of the defenses that your attorney can make, rather, it is a list of some of the defenses that may be available to you.
- The defendant did not make a credible threat to the alleged victim
- The defendant did not intend to cause the alleged victim to feel fearful
- The defendant was engaged in a constitutionally protected activity, such as practice the right to free political speech
- The defendant is being falsely accused of stalking
- The defendant did not repeatedly harass or follow the alleged victim
Contact an Experienced Stalking Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been charged with stalking in violation of penal code section 646.9 PC, you should promptly contact an experienced Los Angeles Stalking Defense Attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail or prison. Our attorneys have handled stalking cases in the past, so they have the knowledge and experience to best defend you and mitigate the consequences that you face.
At the outset of every case, one of our attorneys will examine the facts of your case to determine whether a dismissal is possible. If your attorney believes that dismissal is possible, he will communicate this dismissal to the prosecutor. If the prosecutor refuses to dismiss your case, we will do all that we can to negotiate the best possible plea deal for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.