Stalking Criminal Defense Attorney Philadelphia
Stalking is a serious crime. While the law does not definitively address when actions turn from unappreciated behavior to a crime, prosecutors and police will generally investigate and subsequently determine if that someone's unappreciated behavior amounts to stalking. While many of us may associate stalking with that strange person who obsessively follows and contacts Hollywood stars, most courts see stalking as one person repeatedly receiving undesired aggressive advances from a romantic pursuer. Even seemingly innocuous gestures, such as sending flowers, or texting a person to wish them a happy birthday, can be seen as stalking, when evincing a pattern.
In today's digital world, when Facebook, Twitter, email, and text messages are at the tip of one's fingers, it is easy to say what is on your mind immediately. The ease with which one person can infiltrate another's life is greater than any other point in modern history. Repeated use of these avenues to contact another may amount to stalking. However, given the relatively subjective nature of interpreting these contacts, it is important to retain counsel to ensure prosecutors, police, and the courts understand the true nature of these communications.
If you have been accused of stalking, you need to retain counsel who will make sure that your feelings and your interpretation of events are heard. Given potential ramifications of a stalking charge, or a related Protection From Abuse (PFA) order, you need to take decisive action to quickly defend yourself from your accuser. If you don't, you could end up the victim of false accusations. The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. can help.
What is Stalking?
Stalking, under Title 19, Chapter 27 of the Pennsylvania Criminal Code, occurs when one person:
(1) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts toward another person, including following the person without proper authority, under circumstances which demonstrate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person; or
(2) engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly communicates to another person under circumstances which demonstrate or communicate either an intent to place such other person in reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress to such other person.
The bottom line: If you repeatedly take certain actions towards, or communicate in a certain way with, another person that shows you intend to either, make them fear for their safety, or severely emotionally upset them, you can be found guilty of stalking. The statute recognizes that repeated contacts are needed to trigger stalking offenses when it says, "engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly...". This is essential to differentiating between an isolated incident which likely won't amount to a crime and the crime of stalking.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer for Stalking Or Harassment
Stalking is a misdemeanor of the first degree and a first offense can carry up to five years in prison. The effects of a stalking charge or a Protection From Abuse (PFA) order filed against you can negatively affect your career as well. These charges can then be seen by employers conducting background checks and can appear on the internet as well. It is important to fight these charges with the full force of law.
The Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. will do everything it can to discredit negative evidence and show your case to be the he-said, she-said scenario that it likely is. This is a Criminal Charge and the burden of proof is on the prosecution. They need to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In a situation that amounts to two different opinions and perspectives, it is often unlikely that they'll be able to meet this burden. But you need to act quickly, before it's too late. Call the Law Offices of Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense associates.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.