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Stalking Laws and Charges in California

Posted in General FAQ'S on January 11, 2022

Understanding the ins and outs of stalking laws and charges in the state of California is critical as innumerable amounts of people fall victim to stalking every year. It is important to not only know your own rights, but which warning signs to look out for when dealing with the estranged behavior of other people. 

Stalking is an act rooted in fear. This makes it especially difficult for victims as they are unsure of their options and may even be hesitant to bring forth accusations of stalking as to avoid worsening the problem. Our firm, the Graham Donath Law Offices, APC, has seen many stalking cases over the years and understands the personal struggles involved with stalking. Our Riverside stalking lawyers are conditioned to help victims of stalking – no matter the circumstances.

Stalking As Defined by California

In California, stalking is defined under the state penal code as “willingly, maliciously, and repeatedly following or harassing another and making a credible threat with intents to place another and reasonable fear for our own safety or safety of their immediate family.”

Many people fail to bring forth cases of stalking as they are afraid that they are simply overthinking the problem or fear any form of retaliation. The reality of the situation is that underestimating the severity of stalking can result in different kinds of violence that jeopardize the livelihood of oneself, family, or friends.

Legal Punishments for Stalking

One valid option for victims of stalking is a restraining order. While these can be valid for up to 10 years, they may not necessarily stop the perpetrator from invading your privacy. Especially in cases where police officers are busy with other emergency situations, it may be preferable for the victim to push charges should they be concerned for their wellbeing.

The charges for stalking can land someone in county jail for up to one year and/or up to $1,000 in fines. Nevertheless, probation may be granted and the sentence may be suspended, similarly to other sentences in the American justice system. In the case that the individual is let out of jail on certain conditions, counseling may be required. Spousal or child abuse felonies, terroristic threats, or the violation of a protection order can increase the punishment for anywhere from two to five years in state prison. 

Likewise, violation of a temporary restraining order, injunction, or court order against the same victim who had been stalked previously could lead to two to four years of jail time. Should the person have been convicted of a felony under this statute, subsequent violations could also lead to imprisonment for two to five years in state prison.

The Riverside Attorneys Fighting Stalkers in the Legal Arena

Stalking is not taken lightly by our firm. Our Riverside stalking lawyers work around the clock to ensure that our client’s rights are protected, any filed lawsuit proceeds smoothly and effectively, and that criminals convicted of stalking receive adequate punishment for their crimes. Reach out to one of our attorneys at Graham Donath Law Offices, APC for more information regarding stalking in California. Please call us at 951-667-5293 or click on this link for a free confidential consultation today.