Domestic Violence Charges related to Stalking are surprisingly common in the State of Colorado. Sadly most people are unaware of the implications of seemingly harmless actions and are surprised to learn that what they’ve done is a criminal offense. In most instances, the actions are far from harmless and cause the victims, their friends and family a great deal of stress.
It’s important to learn as much as possible about this criminal offense, especially if you’re been charged for Stalking. Innocent conduct can be considered stalking. It is important to contact an experienced domestic violence defense attorney when charged with this type of crime.
What Is Stalking?
Stalking is a criminal offense which occurs when a person harasses another person repeatedly and purposefully. There are numerous forms. The most common forms which are most often reported to law enforcement include: celebrity stalking, cyber or internet stalking, stalking in the workplace, workplace harassment, and other forms of harassment. In some instances the simple act of sending what seem to be harmless letters or messages, or even flowers can be construed as stalking.
In most cases the victim is aware of the behavior, and whether it was intended to be harassing or not, it is causing the victim emotion stress and trauma that his /her stalker may be on a path to causing physical and continued emotional harm to them. Colorado law (C. R. S. § 18-9-111) section (B) defines Stalking as follows:
- A person commits stalking if directly, or indirectly through another person, such person knowingly:
- Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with such threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship; or
- Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with such threat, repeatedly makes any form of communication with that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation ensues; or
- Repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places under surveillance, or makes any form of communication with another person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does cause that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional distress. For purposes of this subparagraph (III), a victim need not show that he or she received professional treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious emotional distress.
- Conduct “in connection with” a credible threat means acts which further, advance, promote, or have a continuity of purpose, and may occur before, during, or after the credible threat;
- “Credible threat” means a threat, physical action, or repeated conduct that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear for the person’s safety or the safety of his or her immediate family or of someone with whom the person has or has had a continuing relationship. Such threat need not be directly expressed if the totality of the conduct would cause a reasonable person such fear.
- “Immediate family” includes the person’s spouse and the person’s parent, grandparent, sibling, or child; and
- “Repeated” or “repeatedly” means on more than one occasion.
In instances of stalking the victim will usually file for a restraining order with hope that it will prevent the stalker from continuing their present course of action. In some instances the restraining order is effective and the behavior ceases. Unfortunately the behavior often continues and in too many instances becomes worse. As a result the emotional and physical well being of the victim is diminished. The State of Colorado has taken a very strict position against the crime of stalking. Because of the potential for the stalking to continue and lead to more serious crimes such as assault, arrests are made in most all reports of stalking.
If you’re on the wrong end of this offense and have been charged with Stalking, You should seek immediate assistance from an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney who in well versed in Colorado and Denver’s Domestic Violence Laws. Without assistance from a Knowledgeable and Aggressive Domestic Violence Lawyer, you stand to face potentially life-altering legal consequences.
Charges & Penalties For Stalking In Colorado
Colorado Stalking Laws are very clear, and broadly designed to protect victims. In many cases however, wrongful accusations occur, and the innocent find themselves facing serious legal consequences. An experienced Domestic Violence Attorney like Richard Huttner can help mitigate and in many cases eliminate the penalties that could potentially come with a conviction. In addition to helping you avoid a restraining order you may be able to avoid prosecution all together.
Stalking Convictions in Colorado carry serious penalties including but not limited to:
- jail time
- community service
- mandatory counseling
- civil action
- restraining orders
Don’t let this happen to you. If you’ve been arrested and charged for the crime of stalking, you must seek legal assistance from an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney.