Jay P. Mykytiuk of Scrofano Law:
Your Virginia Stalking Lawyer
Have you been charged with stalking in Virginia? Seek the representation of Jay P. Mykytiuk of Scrofano Law PC. He is an experienced Virginia stalking lawyer.
Call Now: (703) 783-5740
The Role of a Stalking Attorney
Stalking is considered a serious crime that requires a vigorous defense. Stalking offenses are defined in Virginia code § 18.2-60.3. It represents intentionally engaging in a behavior or conduct that places another individual in reasonable fear of death, bodily injury, or criminal sexual activity.
Following another individual against their permission is typical stalking behavior. For example, running into your ex at the store typically can’t count as stalking. But, if an ex follows you to your workplace every morning, that may count as stalking.
However, Stalking is not limited to personal contact. Other conduct, such as unwanted online contact through social media, can qualify as stalking. Making threatening phone calls can also be considered stalking.
If convicted of stalking, you can face jail time and high fines. Stalking is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is punishable with up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2500. Bear in mind that additional charges may come along with a stalking charge. In addition, a protective and no-contact order may be imposed.
No matter what charges you are facing, Virginia criminal lawyer Jay P. Mykytiuk of Scrofano Law is here to help.
How Do Stalking Charges Work?
For a stalking charge to stick, a Virginia prosecutor has to prove the following:
- Stalking conduct happened on more than one occasion
- It was directed against another person
- There was an intent to place that person in fear of death, criminal sexual activity, or bodily injury
Virginia stalking laws require that stalking conduct occurs at least on two separate occasions. A single incident may provoke a harassment charge. However, both harassment and stalking charges may be brought at one time.
The prosecutor also has to determine that certain actions constitute stalking. Actions have to pose a credible threat as well. One way of determining that is finding out if a reasonable person in the same shoes as the victim would believe that the risk of the stalker’s action is real. Furthermore, the alleged stalker has to be in an apparent capacity to carry out threats. The defendant must be able to inflict a bodily injury or commit criminal sexual assault.
The conduct also has to be directed against another individual. That individual can be the intended victim or their family or household member.
A household or family member can include:
The spouse or former spouse of the intended victim
Victim’s parents, children, grandparents, and relatives
Victim’s mother-in-law and father-in-law, if they reside in the same household
Any other individual who has a child with the intended victim
Other persons who live or have lived with the victim within the previous year
Protective Orders for Stalking Victims
A protective order is a legal mechanism that can protect victims of stalking. Courts can issue protective orders against an individual charged with stalking.
The protective order can prohibit the defendant from engaging in stalking behavior. Moreover, any contact between the defendant and the victim can be prohibited. That includes the victim’s household members.
Protective orders related to stalking in Virginia include the following:
Emergency protective order
Preliminary protective order
“Permanent” protective order
Courts can issue Emergency protective orders in response to stalking charges in Virginia. The alleged stalker doesn’t even have to be present to have the order issued. Emergency protective orders issued are valid for three days.
A Preliminary protective order is valid for 15 days. It can also be granted ex parte, with only one party present. If granted, a hearing will be scheduled.
After the hearing, the court can issue a more permanent protective order. This order can be valid for up to two years. In addition, the victim can also file for an extension of the protective order.
If a victim files a Protective Order against a defendant, stalking becomes prohibited. The respondent can’t legally have any contact with the petitioner. That means no texts, emails, or social media contact. A violation of the protective order will likely be prosecuted for contempt of court. That can result in a possible jail time of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500. But other penalties may also be imposed if you are found guilty of stalking again.
A second-time conviction for stalking within five years is a Class 6 felony. Potential penalties include up to five years in prison. You could also pay fines from $3,000 to $10,000.
How Can a Stalking Lawyer Help?
Stalking lawyers at Scrofano Law, PC, are experienced in defending a range of crimes, including:
Civil Protective Orders – CPOs
Due to the complexities of stalking cases, facing charges on your own is not recommended. A stalking charges lawyer can help you get your side of the story. That way, you may be able to potentially expose any lies from the alleged victim. As soon as you know of stalking charges against you, consider contacting a stalking attorney.
Stalking someone who has a protective order against you can result in a new criminal charge. It can include a separate Class 1 misdemeanor charge of violating a protective order. A potential fine is up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.
If you’ve been served with a protective order in Virginia, seeking help from an experienced Virginia attorney can be beneficial.
Have More Questions About Stalking? Contact Us!
A criminal conviction for stalking in Virginia brings many consequences. They can last long after you complete your sentence. Moreover, the court may grant a restraining order. That way, the court can try to prevent the stalker from contacting the victim. The duration of the order will depend on the gravity of the stalking as well as the safety of the victim. Some restraining orders can be valid for over four years.
Stalking is also a common crime charged in relation to Domestic Assault Law. Being found guilty of these crimes can ruin your reputation. It can also place some job opportunities out of your reach.
Virginia criminal attorney Jay P. Mykytiuk has over a decade of experience in Civil Protection Orders and domestic violence cases. He is dedicated to preserving justice.
If you have more questions about stalking, reach out and schedule a consultation.
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