Newport News Stalking Lawyer

Stalking is when on more than one occasion, the defendant acts in such a way toward the alleged victim that they reasonably believe that they could suffer either sexual assault, bodily injury, or be killed by the defendant. Stalking allegations can have serious consequences for an individual and do a lot of harm to their reputation. That is why, if you have been charged with a stalking offense, it is important that you speak with a Newport News stalking lawyer. A hardworking criminal attorney could protect your rights and advocate for you.

Elements of a Stalking Offense

To prove a stalking charge, the prosecution has to show that the defendant had contact with the complainant or has been following them and that the actions caused the complainant to be afraid of the defendant, that they may suffer some sort of bodily injury, death, or sexual assault. They also have to show that the defendant has done that on more than one occasion.

Behaviors That Can Lead to Stalking Charges

The behavior that can lead to stalking charges includes:

  • Following someone around
  • Repeatedly calling someone, especially after being told not to
  • Showing up unannounced at someone’s home or place of work
  • Sending threatening messages
  • Continuing to do all of the aforementioned behaviors even after being told to stop

A person can also be charged with stalking because of a misunderstanding, and that is not uncommon. A lot of times in stalking cases, it is alleged that the accuser has requested that the accused stops contacting them.

Criminal Offenses Related to Stalking

Other criminal offenses that might tie into stalking include annoying phone calls, trespassing, and possibly assault, depending on the nature of the incident.


Harassment is repeated communication with the alleged victim, especially after being told not to have contact any longer. In cases of harassment, the complainant usually is given the option of requesting a protective order. It is exceedingly likely that in that type of case, the complainant would be granted the protective order. An order of protection is one in which the judge has ordered that a person is not to have any contact or communication with the alleged victim.

Penalties for a Stalking Offense

Stalking in Virginia is a Class One misdemeanor, punishable for up to 12 months in jail for the first offense. The second offense within five years of conviction for the first one is a Class Six felony, punishable for up to five years in prison.

In addition to five years in prison for a Class Six felony stalking, the judge can take into account the facts of the case and their criminal record. If it is phone calls that led to the stalking charge, the judge will treat it one way. If is repetitive behavior and making threats or using weapons, the judge is likely going to issue more severe penalties than they would otherwise. If the risk of trial and the risk of sentencing outweigh the chance of acquittal, a Newport News stalking lawyer might recommend the defendant take a plea deal.

How an Attorney Could Prepare a Defense

In preparing a defense against stalking charges, a stalking lawyer could look at the facts to see whether the evidence amounts to stalking. In some cases, there is no support for such a charge, and a lot has to be shown to support it. The lawyer will see whether the prosecution has checked all the boxes.

Evidence of Stalking

In preparing a defense against stalking, Newport News stalking lawyer will try to get witnesses who may have seen the behavior, and who can testify to the relationship between the defendant and complainant. If the alleged stalking includes phone calls, they can get phone records, and text logs to see if the defendant ever received a no-contact notice or request, or other communications made by the complainant to the defendant.

One way of defending such cases is to show there was a relationship between the two of them and the alleged victim never had a reason to believe that there would be some sort of injury coming to them.

Benefit of a Newport News Stalking Attorney

Stalking is a serious crime, but it is very specific, and requires several things to be shown, so a Newport News stalking lawyer can be very helpful to someone charged with it. Often, a stalking charge is taken out when no stalking took place. An experienced lawyer could point that out at court and point out to the judge why the incident did not rise to the level of stalking, as required by the law. If an individual has been accused of a stalking offense, they should speak with a skilled attorney that could build a solid defense for them.