Experienced. Dedicated. Trusted.

What is Aggravated Stalking?

Aggravated stalking is a felony offense in which, after the court has ordered you to stay away from someone, you contact that person or put them under surveillance.

Most of the criminal offenses that carry the harshest penalties are the ones that cause serious bodily harm to victims. Physical injury is only one aspect of violence, though. If you have ever been on the receiving end of a violent act, you know that the fear lingers long after the physical injuries have healed; the fear you feel just before a physical attack, and the fear you feel in response to a threat that does not actually materialize are about the same. Therefore, Georgia law classifies some actions as felonies that involve only the immediate threat of violence but no physical contact. 

For example, the charges of assault and battery often occur together, but they are two different crimes. The part where your fist makes contact with the victim is battery, but swinging your fist at the victim while creating an immediate threat of injury is assault. In some cases, calling someone who does not want to talk to you or attending a party you were not invited to is merely annoying, but in other cases, it is stalking, which is a violent crime without physical contact. If you are accused of stalking or aggravated stalking, contact a Georgia stalking defense lawyer.

What is the Difference Between Stalking and Aggravated Stalking?

Stalking occurs when you contact someone in person, by phone, or online in an effort to harass or intimidate them. Putting someone under surveillance by recording the person or tracking the person’s location without his or her consent also counts as stalking. You can also be charged with stalking if you induce someone else to harass the victim on your behalf. A possible defense to charges of stalking is that you had a legitimate reason for contacting the alleged victim, but you must persuade the judge or jury that your reason for contacting the victim was legitimate. Stalking can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on whether it is a first-time offense or a repeat offense.

Charges of aggravated stalking apply if you contact the victim or put him or her under surveillance after the court has ordered you to stay away from him or her. In other words, aggravated stalking occurs when you continue to harass someone in defiance of a restraining order, probation sentence, or other official instructions from the court.

Penalties for Aggravated Stalking in Georgia

Aggravated stalking is a felony. The maximum penalty is one to ten years in prison plus a fine of $10,000. If you are convicted of aggravated stalking, the court will also likely issue a restraining order requiring you to stay away from the victim for life. The court may also order you to undergo a mental health evaluation and to receive treatment if the doctors who evaluate you consider it necessary.

Contact an Atlanta Aggravated Stalking Defense Lawyer Today

A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you are being accused of aggravated stalking. Contact the defense lawyers at Ghanayem & Rayasam in Atlanta, Georgia, about criminal defense cases.