Stalking Charge Defense Lawyer
Defense Attorney for Stalking Charges in Vancouver, WA
Stalking charges in Washington State can range from misdemeanor to felony charges depending on the circumstances. It’s not uncommon during a breakup for allegations of stalking or domestic violence to be made. If you are facing criminal charges for stalking, you might face jail, a no contact order, loss of your firearm rights, or worse.
Although it’s easy to accuse someone of stalking, it can be a difficult charge to prove in criminal court.
Stalking can be both a domestic violence or non-domestic violence charge. To be a domestic violence
crime, the stalking behavior must occur between family members, persons in a past or present intimate relationship, or roommates.
Accused of or Charged with Stalking? Contact our Lawyers.
If you’ve been accused of or charged with stalking, or any other crime of domestic violence, you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. At VanWa Legal PLLC, we can investigate, advise, negotiate, and litigate with considerable experience and skill.Contact us now
Misdemeanor Stalking Charges
The crime of Stalking under Washington law occurs when:
- The accused intentionally and repeatedly harasses or repeatedly follows another person;
- The victim is placed in reasonable fear that the stalker intends to injure either them or their
property or another person or their property;
- The feeling of fear was one a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under
- The accused acted without lawful authority
- The accused either:
a. intended to frighten, intimidate, or harass the victim; or
b. Knew (or reasonable should have known) that the victim was afraid, intimidated, or
harassed (even if the accused did not intend to place the victim in fear or to intimidate
or harass the victim).
“To harass” means to carry out a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person
which seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses, or is detrimental to such person, and which serves no
legitimate or lawful purpose. The course of conduct must be one that would cause a reasonable person
to suffer substantial emotional distress and which actually causes the person to suffer substantial
emotional distress [or, when the course of conduct is contact by a person over age eighteen that would
cause a reasonable parent to fear for the well-being of their child].
“Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time,
however short, demonstrating the same purpose.
“Willful” or “willfully” means to act purposefully, not inadvertently or accidentally.
As a gross misdemeanor charge, the penalty can range up to 364 days and a $5,000 fine.
Stalking can become a B felony that is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $20,000 fine if the
stalking occurs and:
- There has been a prior conviction for harassing the same victim, member of the victim’s family or
household, or any person specifically named in a protection order;
- The stalking violates a protection order;
- The stalker has previously been convicted of stalking;
- The stalker was armed with a deadly weapon;
- The alleged victim is a law enforcement officer, judge, juror, attorney or any other public
employee or official and the stalking was done in retaliation for an act pertaining to the victim’s
official duties or to influence their official duties; or
- The victim is a current, former, or prospective witness and the stalking was in retaliation for
Defending Stalking Charges
If you’ve been accused of or charged with stalking, or any other crime of domestic violence, you need the
help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
At VanWa Legal PLLC, we handle all manner of domestic violence charges. We can investigate, advise, negotiate, and litigate with considerable experience and skill.
The consequences of a conviction can be long-lasting, so it pays hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. We offer a free consultation on every criminal case, so don’t hesitate to reach out. We also offer affordable payment plans on many of our cases.
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