Frederick Stalking Lawyer
An arrest for stalking in Frederick can lead to serious consequences for your personal and professional life. In addition to the damage it could have on your reputation, a conviction also carries the potential for significant time behind bars. A dedicated criminal defense attorney could advise you of these consequences in detail.
If you have been arrested for stalking, you are protected by certain legal rights. Failing to use those rights could do substantial harm to your case, however. One of the most important rights is your entitlement to speak with an attorney. A Frederick stalking lawyer could provide the skill and experience necessary to obtain a favorable outcome in your case.
Frederick Stalking Laws
The crime of stalking is covered by Maryland Code Section 3-802. The statute makes clear the offense is not a single act but must reflect a “course of conduct” designed to leave a person in fear of harm. The intention of a person must be malicious to constitute a violation of stalking laws. Even if a person puts another in fear, a stalking charge will not apply if their intent was not malicious.
To obtain a conviction for stalking, a prosecutor must prove the defendant intended or should have reasonably believed their conduct to put another person in fear of:
- Rape or sexual assault
- Serious bodily harm
- False imprisonment
This course of conduct can cover a wide array of behavior. In fact, the defendant does not need to be in close personal contact with an alleged victim to commit this crime. Stalking can occur through a course of behavior in person or online.
It can be difficult to demonstrate a person’s intentions to a judge or jury. This can lead to criminal charges in situations where a person was well-meaning but misunderstood. No matter the circumstances, an experienced Frederick attorney could assist in defense of a stalking charge.
Defenses to Stalking
There is no single way to guarantee an acquittal in a stalking case. Thankfully, there are several potentially viable defenses depending on the facts of a case. It is possible to obtain a favorable outcome in a stalking case, especially with the guidance of a Frederick attorney.
One of the most common defenses involves holding the prosecutor to their burden of proof. After all, the government must establish that a crime occurred. If they lack evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused intended to put the alleged victim in fear, an acquittal could be possible.
Another common defense raises the question of intent. Many stalking cases stem from a misunderstanding. If a person accused of the crime was unable to take social queues or other hints, they could unknowingly pursue a course of action that puts someone else in fear. A defendant that did not intend to put another person in fear and was not aware that their actions impacted another person could avoid a conviction.
Call a Frederick Stalking Attorney Today
There are a number of consequences that could come with stalking allegations. These charges often accompany other criminal cases, and they could lead to orders of protection.
A Frederick stalking lawyer could meet with you and advise you of your options going forward. In some cases, your lawyer could argue to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. To get started, schedule a case evaluation immediately.