Stalking under Fairfax law occurs when an individual, on more than one occasion, engages in conduct that puts a person in fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. If these charges result in a conviction, they can carry serious consequences, such as monetary fines, or jail time. Stalking charges can also sometimes result in the issuing of a protective order, which can be a limiting factor in an individual’s life. Anyone who is facing stalking charges in the Fairfax area should be sure to seek out the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney who may be able to get the charges dismissed or the penalties mitigated.
Stalking in Fairfax has varying degrees of penalties. When it is a first offense, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor which carries up to 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. When it is a second offense or an offense subsequent to an assault charge, it is a Class 6 felony which carries up to five years in jail. In addition, if the second offense occurs within five years it will result in a felony.
Protective orders are very common in stalking cases. A protective order is issued by a general district or a juvenile court judge and provides an individual with a safe zone. In other words, the person is forbidden from having any sort of contact whether it would be in person, by phone, or by email with an individual. If a person violates the protection order, they can go to jail. Typically, protective orders either precede or come with a stalking charge. If there is a stalking conviction, a protective order is issued against an individual.
An attorney in a Fairfax stalking case compiles evidence of various types. In order to successfully defend a person against a stalking charge, a lawyer must refute the fact that there was any intent to threaten a person by sexual assault or bodily injury. An attorney determines whether there are multiple incidents and whether the client was advised or was aware that this was a stalking situation. The attorney can also raise the question as to whether any crime was committed.
A Fairfax stalking lawyer has a significant role in a person’s case. He or she must examine the law to determine if the actions taken constitute stalking. They need to cross-examine the alleged victims to determine if they have any ulterior motives and if their testimony can be impeached. The lawyer determines if any of the conduct alleged could put a person in fear of death, sexual assault, or bodily injury. In addition, the defense attorney attempts to mitigate the punishment, to get a reduced charge, or possibly to get the charge dismissed through long term community service or counseling.
It is very important on initial consultation with an attorney that the individual facing charges brings evidence of their charges and any information they have about past conduct. That could include a protective order or a prior assault charge. Preparing your attorney with information about your past record can help your attorney foresee potential arguments the prosecution may have.
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