Building a DC Stalking Defense

There are a few things an experienced lawyer could do when building a DC stalking defense. Attorneys may try to get all the information about the alleged stalking conduct, what exactly the behavior was, and obtain any documentary evidence that puts the supposed stalking conduct in context.

Examining the Evidence in a Stalking Case

The first step a legal representative may take is to collect communications between both parties. In some cases, someone alleging themselves to be a victim of stalking may present a one-sided part of the communications, and when the jury reviews their communications in context with the defendant’s, it paints a much clearer picture. The defendant’s conduct then may not look as criminal. The communication could be in the form of emails, text messages, or social media messages. A lawyer may also want to talk to any witnesses and get information from parties who know both people involved who may also provide additional context.

Sometimes, witnesses may remember specific pieces of information the defendant may not remember. It is beneficial to talk to witnesses who can offer a fresh perspective, whether it is about the scene, facts, or information surrounding the incident. There also may be personal information or characteristics about the accuser that may be relevant to a case. This information could shed light on a particular motivation or bias causing the accuser’s conduct, which could undermine their credibility.

Stalking Charges Over a Misunderstanding

A person can be charged with stalking for a misunderstanding, depending on the nature of that misunderstanding. For a conviction, however, the government must prove that someone acted with the intent to cause another person fear or distress. If the accusation is truly a misunderstanding, the defendant never had an intent to distress the alleged victim, so it may be difficult for the government to prove this intent.

The alleged victim may have misunderstood this communication, but if there is some basis for a reasonable person to believe that the second party did not want contact, and the defendant did so anyhow, that can lead to stalking charges. A skilled defense attorney could review a defendant’s case to evaluate whether a misunderstanding occurred when creating their DC stalking defense strategy.

Plea Deals in a Stalking Case

Plea deals worth taking should include a compromise and some benefit for the accused. In stalking cases, this generally means the government is offering a plea to a reduced charge or is agreeing to request a sentence that is significantly lower than the potential or likely sentence a person may face if they go to trial. In stalking plea deals, there may be a less serious charge that a person may be able to plead to. If a person faces enhanced penalties or has prior convictions, they may want to deal.

The government may also offer to treat the charge as a first offense, meaning there are no enhancements, and the person could only face a maximum of one year in jail. A person may only be advised to take a plea if the government has a strong case or at least a strong likelihood of obtaining a conviction. If it is likely that a person may be acquitted at trial, then the person may not want to take a plea unless it is an extremely favorable one. When a defense lawyer builds a stalking defense in DC, they could look at the evidence of the case to advise the defendant whether to accept a plea deal or not.

Contact an Attorney to Discuss Preparing a DC Stalking Defense

Due to the complexities surrounding stalking charges, if you are charged with a stalking offense, you should speak with a lawyer to learn more about building a DC stalking defense. Legal counsel could assess your case and judge which defense strategy fits best with your circumstances. Contact our office for a consultation.

Washington DC Stalking Lawyer