Washington DC Stalking Penalties

Stalking includes two different kinds of behavior. It involves a course of conduct, which means repeated instances of behavior. It does not have to be many as it can be two different times that constitute a course of conduct, but it must be more than just one instance. Stalking is behavior that someone does with the intent to cause another individual to be afraid for their safety or the safety of another, to feel alarmed or frightened, or to be distressed.

A stalking conviction can lead to significant penalties. If you are facing Washington DC stalking penalties, reach out to an attorney today. Let a seasoned stalking lawyer advocate for you and help you reach a favorable outcome to your case.

Stalking Penalties in Washington DC

If a defendant has no prior criminal charges, no prior stalking charges, and no additional enhancement, a person convicted of stalking in DC could face up to 12 months’ incarceration and/or a fine of up to $2,500. In addition to jail time or even if no jail time is given, an individual could face a period of probation and restricted conditions as a part of their probationary sentence. The DC stalking penalties are serious. Therefore, it is crucial for a defendant to obtain a lawyer who is experienced in building a stalking defense.

Enhanced Stalking Penalties

There are a few different ways that stalking penalties in Washington DC can be enhanced. Under the statute, there are four different circumstances in which the maximum penalty for a stalking conviction may be increased. In each of these four situations, the maximum penalty is raised from one year to five years, and the maximum fine is raised from $2,500 to $12,500.

Violating a Court Order

If a person is subject to a court order or another type of order to not have contact with the alleged victim, they must refrain from doing so or they will face charges. Violating an order due to stalking can enhance the penalties the defendant faces.

Stalking a Minor

If, at the time of the offense, the alleged victim was under 18 and the defendant is at least four years older than the victim, that is an enhancement to stalking charges.

Financial Injury

If the criminal stalking behavior caused more than $2,500 in financial injury to the victim, that is a stalking penalty enhancement.

Prior Convictions

If the person has been convicted of stalking in DC or any other jurisdiction within the past ten years, that will enhance the penalty.

Furthermore, there is an additional enhancement if the person has two or more prior convictions for stalking in DC or any other jurisdiction and at least one of those convictions was a jury-demandable offense, meaning that they had the right to go to a jury with that charge in the jurisdiction in which they were accused. In those circumstances, the person convicted on a new stalking charge could face a maximum of up to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of up to $25,000.

How an Experienced Attorney Could Help

If you are facing Washington DC stalking penalties, you should obtain an accomplished defense attorney right away. A dedicated lawyer could advocate for you throughout the legal process. Call today and set up a consultation.

Washington DC Stalking Lawyer