Stalking is a very serious offense in the state of Arizona. Whether you are in the Phoenix are anywhere else in Arizona, the crime of stalking per A.R.S. §13-2923 takes place when an individual intentionally or knowingly behaves in a manner toward another person that can cause them fear for their personal safety or that of their immediate family.
If you are accused of this crime, the alleged victim is required to testify that they were in fear for their safety or for his or her family’s safety. “Course of conduct” refers to maintaining a close physical proximity or visually within range of a person as well as issuing threats, verbal or otherwise to a specific person two or more times over a duration of time, regardless of how long that time was. The charge can also involve an immediate family member of the individual, such as the spouse, a parent, child or sibling. Generally, however, it can involve anyone who has lived at the residence of the victim for at least six months. It even includes a roommate, who is obviously not related by blood or marriage but who received a threat.
Punishment for Stalking in Arizona
Punishment for stalking, especially when an individual claims they are in fear for their life, can be charged as a class three felony for a first offense. The punishment involves probation with zero days to up to a year in jail or prison time of two to eight and three quarter years. In the case of a defendant having a prior conviction, the prison time will be three and a half to 16 and one quarter years served. With two prior convictions, the person can serve anywhere from seven and a half to as much as 25 years in prison.
Someone who is accused of stalking who is said to have not put fear of death in the alleged victim but fear in general is charged with a class five felony. In this scenario, punishment can be probation with zero days to one year in jail or a prison sentence of six months to two and a half years. With a prior felony conviction, the individual can look at one to three and three quarter years in prison, and with two prior felony convictions, the prison term can last from three to seven and a half years.
Additional punishments can be upheld against the defendant if there is an order of protection against them put forth by the victim. Violation of the order of protection can lengthen the probation, jail time and prison term.
If you accused of stalking, you should hire a skilled attorney from the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor to defend you. There are a number of possible defenses that can come to your advantage. One instance is that stalking does not include “Constitutionally Protected Activity,” which, for instance, if you are protesting near a politician’s office, you can’t be accused of the crime because protesting is part of your First Amendment rights.
Defenses to Stalking in Arizona
Additional defenses include the violation of the Miranda Rights, which means that the arresting officer failed to properly tell you of your Miranda Rights while you were being arrested. In the state of Arizona, in this situation, even if you confess to the crime and give specific details, the charges can be dropped if you were not given your Miranda Rights. In addition, the same can occur if you were denied the right to counsel, which means that you requested to speak to an attorney but were denied that right.
Additional defenses can involve the validity of search warrants or any potential forensic flaws during the investigation. DM Cantor will not leave any stone unturned in your defense of Stalking charges. To get a Free Case Review, call us at (602) 737-2812 or email us any time, to schedule a meeting with one of our lawyers.