Stalking

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Aggressively Defending Clients Facing Stalking and Harassment Charges

Alabama takes the crime of stalking seriously. So much so that Alabama lawmakers dedicated an entire Article of the Alabama Code to stalking and similar offenses. Depending on the nature of the allegations against you, a stalking conviction could result in a misdemeanor or felony conviction. Regardless of the seriousness of the offense, a stalking conviction can have devastating collateral consequences, including negatively affecting child custody proceedings or making it harder to find a job.

At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., our Birmingham domestic violence stalking lawyer has decades of experience defending our clients’ rights and helping free themselves of these burdensome—and potentially life-changing—charges.

How Does Alabama Define Stalking?

Alabama law provides for several different types of stalking offenses, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies.

Stalking in the Second Degree

Under Alabama Code § 13A-6-90.1, stalking in the second degree involves repeatedly following, harassing or engaging in unwelcome communications with another person to such an extent that the alleged victim either experiences emotional harm or is put in reasonable fear that their employment, business, or career is threatened. Stalking in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.

Aggravated Stalking in the Second Degree

Stalking in the second degree becomes the aggravated version of the crime if the conduct was also in violation of a court order or injunction, such as a stay-away order or order of protection. Under Alabama Code § 13A-6-91.1, aggravated stalking in the second degree is a Class C felony.

Stalking in the First Degree

Under Alabama Code § 13A-6-90, stalking in the first degree involves repeatedly following or harassing another person such that the alleged victim is placed in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. Stalking in the first degree is a Class C felony.

Aggravated Stalking in the First Degree

Stalking in the first degree becomes aggravated stalking in the first degree if the defendant’s actions were also in violation of a court order or injunction, such as a stay-away order or order of protection. Under Alabama Code § 13A-6-91, aggravated stalking in the second degree is a Class B felony.

What Is the Difference Between Stalking and Harassment?

Stalking and harassment are similar crimes, and the fact that Alabama’s stalking laws use the term harassment adds to the confusion. In the context of a stalking offense, the definition of harassing in Alabama is to “[engage] in an intentional course of conduct directed at a specified person which alarms or annoys that person, or interferes with the freedom of movement of that person, and which serves no legitimate purpose.” Further, the conduct must both be 1.) the type that people would reasonably expect to cause emotional distress and 2.) actually have caused the alleged victim to experience emotional distress.

This is slightly different than the definition used in Alabama’s harassment law (§ 13A-11-8), which considers harassment to be making physical contact with another person or using abusive or obscene language or gestures to harass, annoy, or alarm another person. Notably, for harassment charges, there is no requirement that the alleged victim experienced any emotional harm or legitimate fear for their career.

Often, due to the similarity between stalking and harassment offenses under Alabama law, prosecutors will charge both crimes.

Have You Been Charged with Domestic Violence Stalking?

If you were recently arrested and charged with stalking, harassment or making threats, don’t put your future in the hands of any Birmingham criminal defense attorney. Instead, give the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. a call to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Jason Stoves. Our Birmingham domestic violence stalking lawyer has over two decades of hands-on experience fighting stalking charges on behalf of clients, and we know what it takes to beat these charges. We have successfully challenged stalking allegations on multiple grounds, including insufficiency of the evidence and witness credibility, and look forward to discussing how we can help in your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. at (205) 823-7233, or you can connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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