California Stalking Laws

By Law Offices of Robert M. Bernstein  Apr. 9, 2013 8:49a

California Penal Code 646.9 covers the criminal offense of stalking, which is generally defined as repeatedly following, harassing, or threatening another which causes that person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family. Stalking may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. For instance, if the defendant has been convicted of a previous stalking crime, he or she will be charged with a felony. A stalking felony conviction is punishable by a prison sentence of up to five years. In the worst cases, the defendant may be required to register as a sex offender.

The majority of stalking cases involve persons known to the victim, such as a spouse, ex-spouse, romantic partner, or ex-romantic partner. Most victims are female. The crime of stalking can cover many different types of behavior but it must be proven that the defendant engaged in willful, knowing, and malicious behavior of some kind which threatened the victim. Stalking could include physically following a person so that the victim runs into them frequently, repeatedly phoning or writing letters to the victim, sending repeated emails (cyberstalking), driving by the victim's house, school, or place of work repeatedly, sending the victim an inordinate number of unwanted gifts, or damaging any of the victim's property.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Los Angeles

Stalking is just one of hundreds of criminal offenses a person can face in the criminal justice system. When you have been arrested or when under investigation for any type of criminal activity, it is crucial that you seek legal assistance from a criminal defense lawyer in your area as soon as possible. As in any profession, experience is a key qualifying factor that can help ensure that your case will be handled with the skill and knowledge necessary for effectiveness. At the Law Offices of Robert M. Bernstein, you can work with one of the premier criminal defense lawyers in the Los Angeles area.

Mr. Bernstein is a former prosecutor who handles criminal cases of all kinds at both the state and federal level. Due to his extensive knowledge and experience, he has appeared as a legal analyst on major news media, such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. His firm practices criminal defense exclusively, which means that your case will be in the hands of a legal professional who spends every day researching, investigating, and defending cases in court. To learn more about how an experienced attorney can help you, contact the firm for a legal consultation today.

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