Stalking is a serious crime in Missouri, and while it sounds frightening typically does not involve physical contact or injury. A key element of stalking is harassing another person in a way that person feels intimidated, afraid, or emotionally distressed. Depending on whether you are accused of stalking or aggravated stalking, you may face misdemeanor or felony charges. If you have violated a restraining order or protection order, the offense may be increased in the charges you receive. Take action now in your own defense by contacting The O'Connor Law Firm.
It is important to note that the prosecution must prove the alleged offender harassed the victim with no legitimate purpose, and that the victim was a "reasonable person" in a situation that caused him or her to feel threatened or intimidated in some way. Because every person may interpret the actions or conduct of another individual in different ways, it is difficult for prosecutors to prove specific elements of the crime of stalking. If you have been accused of this criminal offense, it is important to speak with an experienced Kansas City criminal defense lawyer right away.
Stalking does not necessarily mean the accused is physically following the person he or she intends to harass. Stalking can occur when someone leaves threatening or harassing messages on the victim's online profile, also referred to as "cyberbullying." Two or more acts of following a person for the purpose of harassing or posting threatening messages constitutes stalking, no matter how brief the period of time in which these events occur.
Aggravated stalking is a more serious crime and occurs when stalking involves the harassment of a person who is 17 or younger by an individual who is 21 or older, or a credible threat is made. It is also considered aggravated stalking when the course of conduct violates a protection order the alleged stalker has received notice of, or when the offender is accused of stalking a person he or she has previously been convicted of or pleaded guilty to committing domestic assault against.
Stalking is typically charged
as a class A misdemeanor, while aggravated stalking is generally charged as a
class D felony.
Class A misdemeanor stalking - a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a maximum of one year in jail.
Class D aggravated stalking - a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to four years in prison.
If you have previously been convicted of stalking or aggravated stalking, you will face class C felony charges which result in a prison term of up to seven years if convicted.
Stalking is a serious crime. You may have been wrongly accused, however it is important to seek out legal guidance immediately, as the punishment for those found guilty is extremely harsh. At The O'Connor Law firm we vigorously fight on behalf of our clients, providing the legal support and dedicated approach essential to the best possible result. Contact UsContact a skilled Kansas City criminal defense attorney with our legal firm now at 1-816-842-1111.