With the passage of “Tracy's Law” in 2012, a range of behavior that used to be considered merely annoying is now criminalized. If you have been asked to stop contacting someone, and continue to try to contact that person, you can now be charged with stalking. Threats no longer have to be considered credible to be convicted of felony stalking. If you are the target of a domestic protection order, you face increased penalties.
However, it is common for false accusations to be made, and not every annoying behavior meets the legal definition of stalking.
Huntsville Stalking Charge Defense Lawyer
Our experienced attorneys at The Law Offices Of Segal & Segal will stand up for you and your rights if you've been charged with stalking. We will carefully review your case, looking for weaknesses or contradictions in the accusations against you, and seek to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Stalking cases often involve a great deal of emotion. At The Law Offices Of Segal & Segal, we are passionate about defending people from false accusations. Call us today at (256) 533-4529 for your free consultation so we can review the accusations against you.
We are experienced criminal defense lawyers. Sandra Segal worked as a prosecutor for the Huntsville City Attorney's Office. Andrew Segal has worked in both the Alabama Attorney General's Office and the Madison County District Attorney's Office. Since stalking charges carry such a negative stigma, having an attorney who is respected by judges, juries, and even prosecutors will be a huge help for you.
If you've been charged with stalking anywhere in the Huntsville-Decatur area, including Madison, Limestone, Morgan, Marshall, or Jackson County contact us as soon as possible.
Stalking in the First Degree in Alabama
Stalking laws in Alabama were changed in 2012 with the passage of “Tracy's Law.” Stalking in the first degree is now defined by Ala. Code Ann. § 13A-6-90(a) as intentionally and repeatedly following or harassing someone and making a threat with the intent to place a person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm. This includes implied as well as explicit threats, for example brandishing a weapon can be considered a threat even if you do not make verbal threats.
Formerly, the law stated that the threat must be “credible,” but that limit has been removed, and now you can be prosecuted and convicted without the government proving that the threat was credible.
Stalking in the first degree is normally prosecuted as a Class C felony punishable by:
- 1-10 years in prison
- Up to $15,000 in fines
If this behavior is done in violation of any court order or injunction, such as a domestic violence protection order, the crime is a more severe aggravated stalking in the first degree, which is a Class B felony punishable by:
- 2-20 years in prison
- Up to $30,000 in fines
Stalking in the Second Degree in Alabama
The 2012 Tracy's Law also changed Alabama stalking laws to now include some behaviors that did not used to be against the law, and which are now defined as stalking in the second degree. It is now illegal to intentionally and repeatedly follow, harass, make phone calls to, or initiate any communication with another person, any member of another person's immediate family, or any third party with whom the other person is acquainted, if it causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of the other person, or causes that person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business, or career is threatened, and that person has previously asked for a stop to that conduct.
In summary, if someone has asked you to stop contacting them, and you continue to attempt to contact that person, you can be charged with stalking in the second degree. This is a Class B misdemeanor and conviction can result in:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to $3,000 in fines
If this behavior is done in violation of any court order or injunction, for example a domestic violence protection order, the crime is a more severe aggravated stalking in the second degree, which is a Class C felony punishable by:
- 2-20 years in prison
- Up to $30,000 in fines
Defenses to a Stalking Charge
Often, accusations fly and police reports are filed when a relationship breaks up or turns bad. People can lie, or they may make a police report without first asking you to stop communicating with them. If you have been falsely or wrongly accused, a Huntsville defense attorney can help prevent you from being wrongfully convicted when you have done nothing wrong.
Resources Related to Stalking in the Huntsville Area
Stalking charges are prosecuted by the Madison County District Attorney's office. The office also maintains a dedicated family violence team. To contact the Madison County District Attorney's office about pressing charges against a stalker you can use their online contact form or:100 North Side Square
Huntsville, Alabama 35801
The Alabama Coalition Against Domestic Violence has resources for those who are victims of stalking;PO Box 4762
Montgomery, AL, 36101
Telephone: (334) 832-4842
Toll-Free (800) 650-6522
Fax: (334) 832-4803
Finding the Best Stalking Charge Defense Attorney in Madison County Alabama
If you're facing stalking charges, let the Huntsville criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices Of Segal & Segal fight for you. We have experience defending people from false claims and unrightful charges.
If you've been arrested for stalking anywhere in the Huntsville area, including Athens, Decatur, Madison, or Albertsville, call (256) 533-4529 today to set up your free consultation with us.