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Under California Penal Code Section 646.9 (California Stalking laws), stalking is defined as any person who repeatedly follows, harasses, and threatens another person with the intent to scare that person into fearing for his/her safety or the safety of immediate family members.
There must be a pattern of intentional annoying, frightening, or harassing behavior, such as repetitive phone calls, letters, vandalism, pursuit, or other undesirable conduct. There must also be believable implicit or explicit intimidation of the victim or her family, and the victim must experience actual fear or distress as a result of the behavior.
The most commonly reported stalking behaviors include surveillance, unannounced visits, spying, and unwanted phone calls or text messages.
Stalking offenses carry a penalty of up to one year of imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If the stalker continues to follow the same individual in violation of a restraining order, the sentence might be increased from two to four years of jail time.
Stalking charges frequently come down to a “he said, she said” situation, so you need experienced attorneys to help you navigate this confusing situation.
The help of a good lawyer is critical in limiting the damage that a criminal or DUI case can have on your family, your life and your livelihood. Of course a good lawyer can minimize the penalties such as jail, fines and license suspension or revocation.
David E. Jones is a former Deputy District Attorney and a highly skilled DUI/DWI and criminal defense lawyer with more than 20 years of experience helping clients who are facing State and Federal criminal charges.