DC Criminal Defense Lawyer

Stalking


Stalking crimes are relatively recent additions to the statutes, though this doesn’t make them any less serious. These criminal stalking cases are often wrought with emotion and can be particularly stressful for all those involved.

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While you may have known your behavior was crossing the line into inappropriate, you may not have known it could be considered criminal. Perhaps you had a relationship with the person now being called an “alleged victim”. Maybe you meant them no harm at all.

But facing criminal charges of  stalking  means you could really be sentenced to prison, and at a minimum, you could have to live with a felony conviction for the rest of your life. Potential outcomes like these make the case all the more troublesome.

If you’re facing charges like these, you need an aggressive attorney to go to bat for you. You need someone in your corner willing to fight for your freedom and to clear your good name.

Washington DC Stalking Laws and Penalties

The general offense of stalking can be defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person to cause them fear, alarm, or disturbance, or to cause them to suffer emotional distress.

The penalty you face depends on a variety of circumstances. In general, it’s punished by up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines.

However, if you were the subject of a restraining order, were 4 years older than the alleged victim who was under 18, had a prior stalking charge on your record, or caused more than $2,500 in financial damage, you could be facing up to 5 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.

The potential sentence is increased to 10 years if you have 2 previous stalking convictions on your record.

Ref: DC Code Chapter 31A

Threats / Threatening Charges

Criminal charges involving threats are often found in stalking cases. The following represent a few of the more common charges seen.

Threatening to do Bodily Harm

Often found in stalking cases, the offense of threatening can bring about additional charges. If you are accused of threatening someone with bodily harm, you could face up to 6 months in jail and $500 in fines.

Ref: DC Code 22-407

Threatening to Kidnap, Injure, or Damage Property

Another threatening offense that is occasionally seen in stalking cases is this felony. If you are accused of threatening to kidnap someone, injure them, or damage their property, you could face up to 20 years behind bars.

Ref: DC Code 22-1810

Regardless of what brought about the charges you are now facing, you are looking at potential jail time and a permanent criminal record. Contact me today to discuss your options and how I might be able to help.

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