A Stalking Charge in Arizona Can Bring Felony Consequences
In the state of Arizona, a conviction for stalking can be extremely serious. If you have been accused of stalking, it is essential that you take immediate action to protect your legal rights.
When a person follows, harasses or makes repeated attempts to contact another person, in such a manner as to put that person in fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family members, then they can be guilty of the crime of stalking.
Behaviors that may be perfectly legal when performed alone can become criminalized when they are committed in a series of repeated actions. When these behaviors or actions are targeted towards another individual, and they carry a credible threat of bodily injury or other intentional harm, they are in violation of the law.
Where it may be perfectly okay to call somebody at home once or twice, making thirty phone calls in a given day would be considered harassment. It would be the same case for text messages, e-mails or messages sent on facebook. Where a few may be acceptable, too much communication can be construed as stalking, and understandably so. Unfortunately, despite the “innocence" of your intentions, repeated contact with an individual that is unwelcomed can get you into a lot of legal trouble.
In Arizona, a person is guilty of stalking if they intentionally or knowingly engage in a course of conduct that is directed towards another person that causes that person to fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family members.
What types of behaviors would comprise stalking? Any type of willful and repeated following, watching, and harassing a person would be classified as stalking. In many cases stalking behaviors are an attempt to coerce a relationship with another person who is not available, or not interested in having a relationship with the stalker. It is not uncommon for stalkers to be ex-boyfriends or girlfriends, or ex-spouses.
Stalking behaviors are not single, one-time isolated events. They involve a series of repeated attempts to follow or contact the unwilling recipient. Unwillingness on behalf of the victim is the key element to stalking; the unwillingness to have a relationship or contact with the stalker is what classifies such behaviors as harassment or stalking.
If the stalking behavior would make any reasonable person fear for their physical safety, and make them afraid that they are going to suffer serious injuries or death, then you’ve got a problem. In the state of Arizona, stalking is classified as either a Class 3 or Class 5 felony offense.
If you have been accused of stalking, it would be a grave mistake to not take these allegations as serious. If you are convicted, you could be facing felony consequences and a permanent and damming criminal record. It will be absolutely crucial to have a highly experienced criminal defense attorney fighting for your legal rights. At the very least you could wind up with a restraining order taken out against you. This would prohibit you from contacting the victim, and coming within a certain distance of their home, place of employment etc. To challenge the allegations against you, contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney today.