What is Stalking?

With the vast changes in technology today, stalking laws and charges have become far more complex than in days of yore, and the variables that can constitute stalking can be somewhat confusing. However, some of the most stringent laws and penalties are on the books in California for such charges, so it is worthwhile to review them and become familiar with them on the whole and it is important to know how to call a bondsman should you become in the need of one.

What is stalking?

In general terms, stalking is considered to be any form of following, threatening or harassing another individual or person to the extent that the person being followed becomes fearful that he or she will face harm if these actions persist or escalate. Some examples of this may include:

  • following someone to or from work or home
  • making remarks to a person at work that seem threatening in nature
  • sending gifts to a person and insisting that person interact or go out on dates or face consequences

What are some penalties for stalking?

As stated above, California has very strict laws for the punishment of stalking; however, such a charge can occasionally be difficult to prove outside a “he said/she said” situation. Offenders accused of this crime may be charged with a misdemeanor or even felony charges depending on the frequency of the level of the unwanted contact with the victim. A prosecuting attorney for such a case is often the determining factor as to what level charges the defendant could face. Furthermore, if a prior stalking charge has been applied or the defendant has an earlier felony conviction, then the present stalking charge may also be applied as a felony as well. Offenders are normally arrested and taken into custody upon the initial stalking charges. Should there be no prior record for a client, then the accused may be able to receive bond through the bail bonds process by contacting a certified bail bondsman, who can review the charges, find out the amount of bail assessed, and can either allow a cash bond payment or place collateral on property (such as a house lien, a car title or a boat) to cover the down payment expense for the bail bond. The bail bond is in place so that the accused can be released from custody temporarily while awaiting the court date to face charges for his or her stalking case. Once the defendant was successfully appeared in court, the bond is lifted regardless of the outcome of the court case. Bond is applied to assure that the defendant will make the needed court response.

What are legal defenses for stalking that my attorney can use?

It can be tricky to provide a solid legal strategy for a defense to a stalking charge, but some that have been successfully used can include threats that are deemed non-credible or not serious (spoken in jest or as a joke that was misconstrued), the First Amendment right to free speech, and more. It is best to contact an attorney as soon as possible should you be charged with stalking and he or she can guide you to the best resources for your specific case, including bail bond firms that can help you seek release from incarceration until your hearing or trial date!