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Stalking: Criminal penalties are just the start of the damage

Getting accused of a crime like stalking is a serious thing to worry about. Penalties range from fines to time in prison, and the last thing you want is to face charges and penalties for something you didn't do.

Stalking is a malicious behavior, which means someone who isn't being malicious or who has no malicious intent shouldn't be found guilty of this crime. It's not a single event, so repeated encounters are necessary to prove that stalking took place.

Allegations are enough to hurt your reputation

The first problem with any kind of criminal charge is the potential to damage your reputation. Others around you may question if you have the potential to become dangerous to them. Employers may place you on leave or fire you because of the allegations and company policy.

Criminal penalties are harsh for stalkers

People who stalk others maliciously face a second or third-degree felony. If you have a previous conviction, expect a second-degree charge. For a first-time offender, a third-degree felony classification is normal. A prison sentence is possible with any felony.

What kind of evidence supports your defense?

If you want to defend yourself, good evidence is a must. Provide documentation, like invitations to see the individual accusing you of stalking or conversations that take place after the filing of allegations. If you have any conversations in which the individual states that he or she will pursue stalking charges to seek revenge against you or as a form of blackmail, those also help clear your name.

If you have an alibi for alleged stalking incidents, it's good to have the person who can provide it to be a witness on your behalf. For example, if a mutual friend vouches for you and says that you were not talking to the other person, that could work well in your favor.

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