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Stalking

What happens if you are stalking a colleague and are caught doing so?

You can be charged with a criminal offense.

California is one of the first states in the country to adopt a legal framework to prevent, deter and punish the crimes relating to stalking and harassment.  The state has laws against stalking, harassment, and cyberbullying from the early 1990s. In these charges, emotional trauma is significantly high which skews the system towards the victim, and as a result, it is difficult to contest these charges. At Law Office of David S. Chesley, we make sure that your side of the story is heard in the court and provide aggressive defense against your charges.

What is PC 646.9?

The statute of PC 646.9 defines the act of stalking, harassment, and bullying on all electronic and physical channels. The law states, “Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking”.

Elements of PC 646.9

If you have been charged with ‘Stalking’ under PC 646.9, the prosecutor has the burden of proof. The prosecutors must establish in the court that,

  • The defendant willingly, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses the victim.
  • The defendant made a credible threat to the victim.
  • The victim reasonably feared for his or her safety or safety of immediate family members.

If any of the elements mentioned above of crime are missing, the charges cannot be proved against you. We, as a criminal defense attorney in stalking and harassment cases’ question the evidence provided by prosecutor and aim to invalidate them.

Examples of Stalking and Harassment

There can be many examples of stalking and harassment behavior. However, if someone stalks a crush from her university to home only once and does not make any statement, it cannot be charged with stalking. For an offense to qualify as stalking or harassment, all elements of the crime must be present. Some of the common examples of stalking and harassment are as follow,

  • You send several messages to your co-worker after she has refused your proposal that she would better go out with you or else.
  • You follow your ex to home from work every day and keep sending him or her notes that you will ruin his or her life.
  • You keep calling on the number of your ex-spouse and threaten to kill them if he or she does not make things up with you.

Penalties for Stalking and Harassment

The statute of 646.9 imposes strict penalties for anyone guilty of stalking and harassing. It is a wobbler crime in California which means that you can be charged with ‘misdemeanor’ or a ‘felony’ based on the seriousness of the crime, specific circumstances, your previous criminal record, or if there were a restraining order from the court. The only way out of the difficult situation of stalking charges is to have an aggressive and knowledgeable defense legal representation.

If convicted, the penalties of stalking and harassment are up to,

  • One-year jailtime in the county jail.
  • $1,000 in fines
  • Informal Probation
  • Restraining Order Against you
  • Mandatory Rehabilitation Program Enrollment

If you have violated a previous restraining order or if you have been previously convicted of stalking, the penalties can be up to

  • Five years in state prison.
  • $1,000 in fines
  • Formal Probation
  • Restraining Order Against you
  • Mandatory Rehabilitation Program Enrollment

Available Defenses in Stalking and Harassment Cases

In the stalking cases, the system has significant emotional support to the victim. Therefore, it is important to present your case effectively in the court. Our defense lawyers have represented various stalking cases in the court and have prepared defense of the clients successfully. We focus on the most appropriate defense that applies to given circumstances and prepares strong arguments for it. Some of the common defense arguments in these cases are,

  • The defendant did not willfully follow the person i.e. the act was unintentional and misunderstood.
  • The defendant did not make a credible threat to the victim.
  • The defendant is charged due to mistaken identity.

Domestic Voilence

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of the most commonly reported in California and every year hundreds and thousands of domestic crime cases are registered.

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Assault and Battery

Assault and battery are often charged together, but these are not interchangeable criminal offenses.

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Assault with a deadly weapon

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Being charged with aggravated assault (also known as assault with a deadly weapon), is a serious criminal charge.

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Resisting Arrest

When a suspect is uncooperative, dismissive or verbally indignant, some officers take it personally. People who have committed no crime suddenly find themselves facing bogus criminal charges.

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Criminal Threats

A criminal threat is often referred as ‘terrorist threat’ in California even though the statute no longer uses this term to define the offense.

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Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

Unlawful Possession of a Firearm is strictly illegal.

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Recent Results

  • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

  • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

  • Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

  • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

  • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

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