Felony Stalking Charge In Colorado
A stalking conviction can ruin a reputation, not to mention a life, and is usually punished as a Felony, with a mandatory prison sentence imposed.
If you are charged with stalking, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help guide you through the complex legal system and fight for your rights as the accused. Taking a stalking charge lightly can be devastating to your future.
Different Forms Of Stalking
There are different categories of stalking charges recognized under Colorado law. However, in general, stalking is defined as engaging in behavior that makes the victim either suffer emotional distress or fear for her or his own safety.
Whether it involves harassment via text messages or obsessively following someone and severely intruding upon their personal privacy, it is very important to understand how different forms of stalking as well as their penalties are defined by Colorado law in the event you are ever faced with this type of charge.
Stalking Charges Have Two Basic Elements –
- There must be some sort of credible threat.
- The second element that must be present is repeated behavior that, within reason, causes someone to suffer a significant degree of emotional distress or experience fear.
How is Stalking Defined in Colorado?
According to Colorado state law, the crime of Stalking is comprised of several different acts. They include the following:
- Threatening a person, and then surveilling, contacting, approaching, or following them, a person they are in a relationship with, or a family member.
- Threatening a person, and then communicating repeatedly with them, a person they are in a relationship with or a family member.
- Communicating, surveilling, approaching, or following someone, the person that they are in a relationship with, or a family member in a way that would cause a reasonable individual to experience emotional distress, and does cause emotional distress.
In this situation, a credible threat refers to any type of intimidating repeated conduct, physical action, or remark that causes a person to be afraid for their own safety, the safety of someone they are in a long-term relationship with, or the safety of an immediate family member.
Those who are convicted of Stalking are treated harshly by Colorado law.
The legal system in Colorado is becoming increasingly focused on preventing violent crimes in general and domestic violence acts specifically. Given that stalking charges are frequently associated with a domestic violence case as mentioned above, stalking charges are sometimes viewed by district attorneys and judges as the chance to opportunity to intervene in situations that are potentially dangerous and seem likely to escalate into violence without outside intervention.
For stalking offenders that can result in very harsh consequences – meaning a Class 4 felony if you have a prior stalking conviction or a Class 5 felony conviction for no prior stalking convictions.
Extraordinary Risk Crime – Additional Punishment
A stalking conviction can be considered an “extraordinary risk crime” which can increase the penalties imposed by a judge upon a stalking conviction.
This is why it is particularly important to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer to aggressively fight for your rights you if you are faced with a stalking charge. Contact our office immediately for a free consultation, and do this before you speak to investigators or the police.
If you have been falsely accused or are facing a stalking charge in Colorado Springs, you must call an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you navigate the complex legal system and stand for your rights as the accused.
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