Is Stalking a Crime in Connecticut?

Stalking is a serious crime across the country, including in the state of Connecticut. It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances. Read on for further information on stalking charges and speak with a Hartford County criminal defense attorney to acquire skilled representation today.

What Types of Stalking Exist?

Connecticut state law defines three types of stalking. Each one is a crime and is punishable by severe consequences.

Third-degree stalking occurs when someone recklessly causes another person to have a reasonable fear for their physical safety via repeatedly following them or lying in wait. Virtual stalking can also be considered a third-degree offense. It involves the use of a GPS or other monitoring device to track the location of the victim.

Second-degree stalking is committed when someone intends to cause and does cause another person to fear for their physical safety via willfully and repeatedly following them or lying in wait. The main difference between third and second-degree stalking is the intent of the perpetrator.

First-degree stalking happens when a person commits second-degree stalking:

When they have a prior stalking conviction
While in violation of a court order
Against a victim who is under the age of 16

What Are the Penalties for the Crime of Stalking in CT?

Any conviction of stalking can leave you facing serious penalties. A court will examine the entirety of the situation before making their determination, but below is a general guideline of the consequences for each degree of stalking.

Third-degree:

  • Class B misdemeanor
  • Fines of up to $1,000
  • Up to 6 months in prison

Second-degree:

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Fines of up to $2,000
  • Up to 1 year in prison

First-degree:

  • Class D felony
  • Fines of up to $5,000
  • 1 to 5 years in prison

Any conviction can also result in punitive damages, probation, community service, and more.

Should I Hire an Attorney for My Case?

In any criminal case, you should hire a trustworthy attorney to represent you. The legal processes can be quite complex and overwhelming so having someone with experience and a deep understanding of the law will be a significant benefit to you and your case.

Even if you cannot get your charges dismissed, your attorney may be able to have them lessened. As explained above, the higher the degree of crime, the more severe the penalties become. Getting your charges reduced to a less serious offense can significantly impact your sentencing.

You and your lawyer should work together to come up with a defense that works for your situation. Be open and honest about the details of your circumstances. If you can prove that you did not act with the intention of creating fear, you could have your charges reduced to a third-degree offense. You may also have been falsely identified as the stalker and can prove your innocence with a strong alibi or eyewitness testimony.

There are many ways that an attorney can help you in your criminal case. Reach out today to begin discussing potential defense strategies.

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