Colorado Stalking Lawyer
In a popular movie, a female is set up on a blind date by her parents. The woman goes on the date and finds she really likes her date. Unfortunately, the man doesn't reciprocate her feelings. Instead of simply telling her he doesn't like her, he makes up an excuse to not see her for another date. She really doesn't get the picture or the hint. This results in an entire movie of comedic mishaps as she tries to “accidentally” run into him in public. The movie is a classic example of stalking.
What Is Stalking?
- A person threatens another individual and then proceeds to: Follow, place under surveillance, or repeatedly make any form of communication with that person or members of his or her family.
- When a person consistently commits the above actions in an attempt to cause someone serious emotional distress.
Emotional Damage as a Result of Stalking
One of the requirements to prove that Stalking occurred in Jefferson County is that the alleged victim must “suffer serious emotional distress” as a result of being repeatedly contacted, put under surveillance, or followed. But, the statute goes on to say that “a victim need not show that he or she received professional treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious emotional distress.” In other words, there doesn't have to be any proof of “emotional distress” other than a person's statement.
Examples of Stalking:
Stop Light Rant
A man is rear-ended at a stoplight in Adams County. He exchanges information with the young teenage driver, but says: “You'll pay for what you've done” before driving away. Later in the day, the teenager realizes the man is following him as he runs errands in Aurora.
A coworker is in love with a fellow coworker in Douglas County. Unfortunately for her, he isn't interested in her advances. Desperate to see him, she follows him home from where they work in Castle Rock repeatedly, which causes him emotional stress.
A couple goes through a bitter divorce in Arapahoe County. The woman's parents are worried and stressed about her and her children because the ex-husband has been showing up unexpectedly as she goes throughout her day in Greenwood Village.
A teenager in Denver County is love struck. He is shy and can't get up the nerve to talk with the girl in his class. When he does, she rebuffs him. He has her phone number, so he texts her repeatedly – which scares her. She finds herself constantly looking over her shoulder.
Stalking in Colorado Is a Felony
Stalking brings stiff consequences throughout Colorado. It is classified as a class 4 or 5 felony, depending on whether or not a Protection / Restraining Order is involved. If a person has a felony on their record, it will negatively affect every aspect of their life. Their ability to find or keep a job, gain financing for a house, or even own a firearm is affected. A felony charge also brings a prison sentence.
The Alleged Victim in Stalking Cases
Stalking is considered a serious crime in El Paso County: Stalking touches the lives of one out of every 12 women, and one out of every 45 men. In most stalking charges, the alleged stalker is someone the person already knows, such as a coworker, former spouse, or even a friend. This charge can be added alongside a Domestic Violence, Harassment, or even Murder charge. If you or a family member has been accused of stalking, it is very important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can begin working on a plan for your defense immediately.
Your Best Defense Is A Criminal Defense Attorney
At O'Malley and Sawyer, we understand how emotions can overwhelm us. Simply trying to follow up with someone can result in Stalking charges. In many cases, the accused had no idea the contact was unwlecome. If you or someone you know has been accused of Stalking, it is imperative that you seek help immediately. Do not talk with anyone. Be smart, exercise your right to be silent, and contact an attorney.
Colorado Stalking Statute: C.R.S. 18-3-602
“A person commits stalking if directly, or indirectly through another person, the person knowingly: (a) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship; or (b) Makes a credible threat to another person and in connection with the threat, repeatedly makes any form of communication with that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation ensues; or (c) Repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places under surveillance, or makes any form of communication with another person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does cause that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional distress. For purposes of this paragraph (c), a victim need not show that he or she received professional treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious emotional distress.”