The act of stalking has the potential to harm people in several ways. For example, it places them in a state of prolonged fear for their lives. It can also disrupt their daily lives and, in some situations, lead to violence.
Due to the potential for harm that sometimes accompanies stalking, state lawmakers have taken a severe approach to this offense. Even when defendants never meant to frighten or harm anyone, a conviction for stalking comes with harsh consequences.
What actions constitute stalking?
Like most stalking statutes, the laws in Alabama prohibit people from following others intentionally and repeatedly. Other examples of prohibited conduct include the following:
- Repeatedly and intentionally harassing another person
- Expressed or implied threats causing fear of physical harm or death
This is a Class 3 felony, which could lead to a $15,000 fine and one to ten years imprisonment.
- Improper electronic or verbal communications with another person (or their family and friends)
- Causing the victim psychological harm and fear of career loss
- Continued improper conduct after being told to stop
This is a Class B misdemeanor, which may result in up to six months in jail and a fine of $3,000.
If your alleged activities violate a court order or an injunction, such as a protective order, you will likely face aggravated stalking charges in the first or second degree. The possible penalties for aggravated stalking include a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of $15,000 to $30,000.
As you can see, you must take your charges seriously when getting the best possible outcome is your top priority. If Alexander City police arrest you for stalking, an ideal first step is learning more about your criminal defense options.