Prince George’s County Stalking Lawyer

Stalking in Maryland is a situation in which an individual engages in some conduct directed at another person that causes them fear or an inability to live in peace. If someone has been charged with a stalking offense, they should speak with a Prince George’s County stalking lawyer. A skilled assault attorney could defend their rights and reputation.

Elements of Stalking

The elements of stalking generally include an ongoing course of conduct, not just the nature of the incident. They are allowed to use pubic roadways, but if they create fear or concern or discomfort in the person they are following to some degree, that can be stalking. It could be online sending emails, sending cards or flowers, hanging around their home. It also could be threats, directly or indirectly through family or friends. Generally, it is ongoing invasiveness of someone’s life such that they are in fear.

Being Charged Due to a Misunderstanding

A person can be charged with anything, even a stalking charge, resulting from a misunderstanding, but the question is whether they can be prosecuted and found guilty. If someone believes they are being stalked, they can always file charges.

Ultimately, however, a prosecutor will review the case and assess whether there is an appropriate basis for prosecuting and whether the evidence is there to support the burden of proof necessary to find somebody guilty.

Defining Harassment

Harassment is a course of conduct that prevents somebody from living in peace. Stalking and harassment can be a variety of things. People use the words harassment and stalking interchangeably.

 Harassment can be putting pressure on or intimidating somebody, maybe humiliating them. It could be putting pictures of somebody on the internet making allegations or insinuations online. It could be offensive or humiliating behavior for anything. It could be about their gender, their political beliefs, or their religious beliefs.

Criminal Offenses That Tie into Stalking

There are several criminal offenses that might tie into stalking, but stalking is rarely an isolated charged. Usually, there will be other criminal offenses involved, including harassment. People file for protective orders on stalking, so a violation of an order would be another criminal offense. It could even go to a level of assault.

Penalties for Stalking Convictions

Conviction of stalking in PG County carries with it penalties of five years in jail or a $5,000 fine or both.

The five years and $5,000 fine for stalking is the maximum penalty. Also, the stalker’s history will dictate how much, if any, of the incarceration or fine a person ends up with. A Prince George’s County stalking lawyer could attempt to mitigate the penalties that a person could face.

Orders of Protection

In Maryland, a person can seek a protective order or a peace order, but a protective order is the main one sought against someone if they are related to them by blood or marriage. Anybody else would receive a peace order. A protective order is a civil action by the court telling someone to leave somebody else alone and quit causing them distress.

Eligibility for Orders of Protection

A person can seek it in several ways. An individual is eligible for an order of protection if they have been an alleged victim of stalking, harassment, threats of violence or actual violence, assault, or false imprisonment. There are several ways a person can seek it if they believe they have been the alleged victim of stalking, harassment, threats of violence, actual violence, assault, or false imprisonment.

There are several options that would satisfy the elements required to be eligible for a protective order. The order is applied for one year, and a judge can add requirements to it, such as vacating the residence, forfeiting possession of a firearm, and just leaving somebody alone, having no contact. If a person violates those orders, that is a criminal charge that would likely lead to a warrant for their arrest, even though the order itself is civil in nature. A local stalking lawyer could answer questions an individual may have about how an order of protection could impact their case.

Value of a Prince George’s County Stalking Attorney

When charged with any crime, much less stalking, it is imperative that a person have a PG County stalking lawyer present to defend them. A skilled attorney could defend someone by challenging the allegations, investigating the strength of prosecutor’s case, building the defense and working with the prosecutor to seek a possible resolution of the case, if appropriate. A qualified legal advocate could devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for the individual.