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Need a stalking lawyer in Atlanta? Trust Conoscienti and Ledbetter for skilled legal guidance. Get the help you need to protect yourself. Reach out now for help!
Author: J. Blake Ledbetter, Partner, Conoscienti & Ledbetter
Mr. Ledbetter specializes in civil litigation in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, and possesses vast experience in wrongful death lawsuits. Mr. Ledbetter was recognized as a SuperLawyers Rising Star in 2018 and 2019 in the area of Civil Litigation. Published on November 22, 2023.
Stalking is a serious crime under Georgia Law. The right to privacy is protected by the United States (U.S.) Constitution. Stalking threatens that right and may deprive someone of their freedom.
You may face criminal charges for stalking even when you believe you have not committed any offense. If you are facing accusations of stalking in Georgia, it is essential to contact a stalking attorney to represent you and defend your rights.
At Conoscienti & Ledbetter, we can investigate your case and advise you on the available options. Schedule a consultation today!
What Is Stalking Under Georgia Law?
According to the Georgia Code 16-5-90, you could face charges for stalking if:
- You follow, place under surveillance, or contact someone without their consent to intimidate or harass them.
- You broadcast information about someone that causes others to intimidate or harass them.
To be convicted of stalking, the State must demonstrate that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes showing a pattern of harassment and intimidation of the victimIf the stalking only happened once, it doesn’t demonstrate a pattern of repeated behavior. In that case, stalking offenses in Georgia can’t be proved.
Additionally, you may not face charges if you are engaged in a lawful business activity or professional practice protected under Georgia criminal law or the U.S. Constitution. For instance, private investigators who surveil people in Georgia.
Speak with trusted criminal defense lawyer today, for free.
In Georgia, a first-time offense of stalking is a misdemeanor. It is punishable by a jail sentence not exceeding one year and a fine of $1000. If you commit the offense a second time, you could be looking at a term of imprisonment between one and ten years.
The court may require you to undergo a psychological evaluation and consider your criminal history before convicting you of stalking.
What Is Aggravated Stalking in Georgia?
According to the Georgia Code Section 16-5-91, aggravated stalking occurs when you disregard a protective or restraining order and continue to carry out stalking actions against someone. It is a felony punishable by a sentence between one and ten years. It may also include a $10,000 fine.
However, communicating with the victim is not enough to bring an aggravated stalking charge. The prosecution must prove that you violated the protective order and intimidated or harassed the victim. Contact a stalking attorney immediately if you have been accused of aggravated stalking.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are several defenses you can use to fight your stalking charges. Some common defenses include:
Mistaken Identity: In some cases, the victim may have identified the wrong person as the stalker. If you can show that it was not you but someone else who was stalking the victim, you would have a good defense for your case.
Consent: The victim may have given you permission to photograph them. Providing evidence of their consent would be beneficial to your stalking case.
Lack of intent: Stalking is an intentional act, and you must knowingly engage in conduct that causes emotional distress to the alleged victim. If you can show that it was absolutely not your intention to stalk or cause distress to the alleged victim, you may have a good defense.
A reasonable person would not have found the conduct to be distressing: If you can demonstrate that a reasonable person would not have been upset by your conduct, it may help your case.
It was a one-time offense: To convict you, the prosecution must show a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior. If it was a one-time offense, our stalking attorney will work with you to prove to the court that it was an accident that would not repeat itself.
Don’t delay. Schedule a risk-free consultation today.
Stalking charges are serious, and the consequences can affect you for the rest of your life. That is why it is essential to consult skilled and experienced attorneys to fight your case. Our stalking and domestic violence lawyers can help your case through the following actions:
Advise you on how to navigate the court system
Establish an effective defense strategy to fight your stalking charges
Examine the prosecution’s evidence
Gather evidence that may help your case
Help you obtain a bond for your release while awaiting trial
Interview witnesses and collect their statements
Negotiate an alternative sentence with the prosecution
Provide comprehensive legal representation in court
Being unaware of the consequences of your actions is not an excuse for stalking. Having a stalking conviction on your record can have significant consequences for your life, including your chances of getting a job or renting a home.
With the help of a stalking lawyer from Conoscienti & Ledbetter, you can defend yourself in court. Our attorneys will carefully work on your case and fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
We understand that stalking charges may be difficult to face. That is why we treat our clients with dignity and respect throughout the legal process. Do not jeopardize your freedom.
Contact our stalking attorneys today to get started.