When preparing a defense for stalking charges, a stalking attorney in Alexandria will look to the police report and the victim statement, if either exists. The attorney will look at the credibility of the victim and the facts surrounding the accusations. An attorney will then look for evidence of intentional and repeated contact because that is the most important element of a stalking charge. This includes everything from videos, text messages, to witnesses that may be able to help the case.
When preparing a defense, an Alexandria criminal lawyer will ask for discovery, which is any statement made by the defendant, in addition to any 911 calls or any other information that will be coming into evidence against the client. The criminal defense attorney will compile witness statements and interviews with individuals who saw something happen, depending in part on the facts of an individual’s specific case.
If somebody is charged with their third stalking offense against any victim, or if it is their second offense against the same victim, then the charge is considered a serious felony. If the evidence is strongly against the individual, a criminal defense attorney might urge them to take a plea deal that would amend the charge down to a misdemeanor—for example, amending it down to a first offense instead of charging it as a second or a third offense, so as to avoid bumping it up to a felony. It would depend on the facts of the case, and a stalking attorney would consider all the facts before making such a recommendation.
Somebody charged with stalking should consider hiring an Alexandria criminal defense attorney because stalking comes with serious consequences. Stalking is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to twelve months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. An individual could also have a protective order attached to the deal, which would then prevent that individual from doing things like carrying a firearm in Virginia, or from physically being in a particular location, which can often force that individual to give up his or her home as a result of the conviction.
If somebody is looking for a criminal lawyer in Alexandria to represent them in a stalking case, they should look for somebody with experiences in stalking cases. They should also look for an attorney who is able to speak about the elements of the offense and who knows how to defend against the protective order that could come with the conviction.
Additionally, a person should look for an attorney that they can trust with these types of cases, as it is extremely important that the client be completely honest with the attorney. The attorney should be able to communicate well with the client and allow the client to feel that he or she can really be honest in sharing all of his or her actions with that attorney.