A crime that is common in all states and one that you might not even realize that you’re committing is stalking. The crime involves a pattern of events instead of one or two episodes. The activity is often done in a willful manner and often has a malicious background behind the crime. Bronx stalking laws are among the oldest in the state. Most of the time, stalking occurs between people who have ended a relationship or between people who are angry at another person for some reason and want to find out what the other person is doing at all times. Stalking involves harassment that becomes repetitive in nature and that can include a threat of some kind of harm that could occur to the victim. Many victims involved in stalking situations will seek restraining orders, and if the order is violated, then you could be charged with other crimes as well.
Stalking is usually charged in the fourth degree unless there have been incidents in the past where you’ve been charged with stalking as well. Any harmful acts that occur while you’re stalking the other person will often result in a stronger crime and harsher sentence as well. As each degree of the crime increases, your punishment will increase as well. Fourth-degree stalking is usually defined as having no clear purpose along with intentional behavior. You will cause some kind of fear for your victim or even the family members of the victim. You could also cause enough fear so that the victim’s business or employer believes that something will occur as a result of your stalking behavior. Third-degree stalking is similar to fourth-degree but often involves more victims. The threat of serious injury to the victim is also a component of third-degree stalking. A weapon would need to be present if you were to be charged with second-degree stalking. If the weapon is used against the victim, then you could face other charges, such as assault. If you have two convictions of stalking within five years, then you can be charged with second-degree stalking as well. Another way that you can be charged with second-degree stalking is if you are over 21 and the victim is 14 years or younger. If there is intentional harm to the victim, then you will likely be charged with first-degree stalking.
Since there are numerous components to the crime of stalking, it’s important to have an attorney who can examine the evidence and present the details surrounding the charges to the court. Your attorney can determine whether you had an intent to harm the victim or if you’ve been stalking the victim over a period of time or you were simply trying to make contact with that person for other reasons. The statements of the victim are often taken into consideration as well. If the victim doesn’t tell you to leave them alone, then you could use that as a defense in court. The only stalking charge that is usually classified as a felony is first-degree. The other charges are usually considered misdemeanors. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t spend time in jail or have to pay a fine. If you are a repeat offender, then you could be charged with a higher degree of stalking even if the other elements aren’t present.
Sometimes, stalking charges end in arguments between the offender and the victim, which is something that you need to keep in mind if you know the other person could file charges against you just for making a simple form of contact. This is another reason why you should have an attorney who can examine the details of the stalking charges as well as the reason given for stalking.