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Stalking Charges are Scary in Washington But NOT Hopeless

On Behalf of | May 4, 2016 | Domestic Violence

You have been accused of stalking. You are probably quite understandably upset, worried and maybe even angry. In most of these cases the two parties know each other. You may have been completely unaware that the other person was upset by your presence or communication. You are worried what this will mean to your future.  Commonly, this is a former intimate partner or relationship making this a domestic violence allegation.

Stalking is charged when you are suspected of repeatedly following another person who is afraid or intimidated by this and you know (or should have known) that they felt fearful. Please notice that you do not need to intend to frighten the other person for this crime to be charged; it simply matters that they felt threatened. This is generally a gross misdemeanor charge with penalties of up to a year in jail and a $5000 fine. But, there are situations which can increase this to a felony charge with penalties of up to 5 years in jail a $10,000 fine. This increase happens when you have a past conviction of stalking or there is a restraining order in place or you are suspected of trying to intimidate a witness in another case. So this is very serious. Also, if this is a domestic violence situation then the probation, even on the misdemeanor, can be five years long.  That is what you need to know and that is why you need a defense attorney.

The good news is that there are options for your defense attorney to use. Remember that the prosecution has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt; the defense attorney shows how they failed to do that.

Were you unaware that the other person did not want the contact?  It was pointed out earlier that it is irrelevant whether you intended to cause fear; it only matters if the fear was reasonable.  Similarly, the person (victim) does not need to ask you to stop the unwanted contact.

So if someone thinks you are following them and it is making them fearful they can not just go to the police – they do not need to inform you first.

Do you happen to live in the same area as the alleged victim? Perhaps you were only in the same areas coincidentally. When you live in the same area it is not uncommon that you would shop, get gas, go out to eat in the same places. Plus places like the mall and theater can easily be visited by the same person and it has nothing to do with the fact that the other person was. This can also be used as a defense.

Is it possible that you are being falsely accused by someone that is upset with you? You definitely need a defense attorney. After all – you are innocent. That is one of the main reasons for the existence of a defense attorney. Innocent people do quite often get accused of crimes such as this by a person that wants some sort of revenge for some reason. Usually this would be an ex-spouse or ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend. They think that because of the past relationship that their allegations will be believed. But remember that the prosecution can not just rely on biased testimony. They need to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.  A jury can be shown the bias of the witness.  The defense then shows how the prosecution failed to prove your guilt. We will do our own investigation and can also use this as a defense. All angles will be examined to get you your best result possible.

You do not have to go through this alone and, in fact, you should not. You need a defense attorney who will make sure your story is heard, will counsel you as to your best strategy, and will make sure you get your best result possible. That is what you have when you hire from the law office of Smith & White, PLLC for your Pierce County / Tacoma defense attorney. Please call Smith & White, PLLC – the first consult is free.