What are the Laws on Stalking in Georgia? How Can You Stop Stalking?Written on August 8, 2014
Stalking can happen in many forms. We live in a world filled with technology, which can provide numerous outlets to contact another person. The Georgia stalking law takes all of this into account.
Stalking goes well beyond sitting outside someone’s house or following them to work. Most people have a variety of ways to contact another at their fingertips. If the communication is unwanted and deemed to be threatening in nature, you may find yourself in serious trouble.
The basis for the Georgia stalking code is intimidating and harassing behavior. The law states that a person is guilty of stalking if they follow, place under surveillance, or contact someone without consent for the purpose of harassment and intimidation. Any pattern of behavior that places another person, or a member of their immediate family, in reasonable fear for their safety may very well result in criminal charges. There doesn’t have to be a specific threat of bodily harm for a stalking charge to apply.
When most people hear the word stalking, they may think of a jilted man or woman harassing their former partner. That’s not always the case. As long as the harassing or intimidating behavior can be shown, anyone can be charged with stalking another person regardless of gender or the basis of their relationship.
The law also addresses technology. Stalking related behavior done in person, by computer, through an electronic device, by mail or telephone can all result in an arrest and criminal charge. That means contacting somebody by text or Facebook, if reported to the police, can be considered stalking just like following someone to their home can. The only place stalking can’t occur is at the defendant’s home. In other words, you can’t go to someone’s residence and then claim they are stalking you.
Stalking is a misdemeanor. Subsequent convictions can result in felony charges. A temporary protection order is something issued by a judge that forbids one person from contacting another. This includes in person, by telephone, mail or electronically. If someone violates a protection order, they can be charged with aggravated stalking, which is a felony.
The easiest way to avoid a stalking charge is to leave someone alone if they don’t want anything to do with you. However, if you do find yourself arrested for stalking, your first call should be to The Silverbach Group. The burden of proof in criminal cases falls with the police and the prosecuting attorney. Before speaking with the police, or accepting any sort of plea bargain offered, seek effective legal counsel. The attorneys at the Silverbach Group are here to help. We will protect your rights. You can reach us at 770-635-0334.