With so many people on social media today, it shouldn’t be surprising that new laws are springing up when it comes to stalking. Internet stalking, in particular, is of concern. Nobody should ever be made to feel uncomfortable, be it online or in person. In Idaho, it is a crime to stalk someone, no matter how you do it. Not only will you be charged with the crime, but you can also be hit with serious jail time and fines. Thankfully, if you are charged with stalking, a criminal defense lawyer in Boise can help.
It may seem innocent to reach out to an old friend on social media. Some people sometimes don’t know when they’ve crossed the line. They think they’re just doing a little bit of flirting. Internet stalking is a lot worse than harmless flirting. The next thing they know, the cops are at their house and they’re being arrested.
In order to protect yourself, it’s important to understand exactly what internet stalking is. You should also know what the elements of stalking are – no matter how it’s done. Otherwise, you can find yourself on the receiving end of a criminal charge, a restraining order, and possible jail time.
What Exactly is Stalking in Idaho?
For a long time, stalking claims were not taken that seriously. After all, if there isn’t a history of abuse between the victim and the person they’re accusing of stalking, it’s hard to show any kind of bad intent. But as the years have progressed, the police and the courts are taking these claims a lot more seriously.
According to Idaho law, stalking is pretty clearly and widely defined. Stalking is whenever someone knowingly or maliciously engages in contact or conduct with someone that is alarming, annoying, or harassing to the point where the victim reasonably suffers substantial emotional distress. It is also considered stalking if this conduct or contact threatens or reasonably threatens death or injury to the victim or their family.
Take note – the law prohibits activity that is done knowingly or maliciously. It doesn’t include accidental contact. Nor does it include innocent contact. However, if you already know that somebody does not want you to contact them, it changes the story a bit. If you know that someone doesn’t want to see or hear from you, then you need to stay away. Otherwise, they will say that you knowingly engaged in stalking.
Your Boise Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Try to Get the Charges Reduced or Dismissed
If you are charged with stalking, there are a few things your Boise criminal lawyer can do to help you. First, they can show that you were not acting knowingly or maliciously. Or, they can show that the victim did not really suffer any sort of substantial emotional distress. Courts do tend to believe victims more than they do the accused. So it’s important that you provide your criminal defense attorney in Idaho with as much information as possible.
If you’re convicted of stalking – or internet stalking – you can be sentenced to jail. You’ll also likely be fined up to $1,000. The judge will also issue a no-contact order so that you stay away from the victim. If you are charged with stalking again at any point within the next seven (7) years, the judge will sentence you to additional time. Also, at this point, the charge will be a felony, not a misdemeanor.
Your criminal defense lawyer will work hard to get your charges reduced or dismissed. They’ll talk to the prosecutor and try to negotiate a plea deal if necessary. Or, they’ll be able to poke holes in the state’s case so that the charges have to be dismissed. Just keep in mind – there’s never a guarantee that the prosecutor will be willing to do this. That’s why you want to have a lawyer by your side.
Talk to a Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer in Boise Today
If you are charged with stalking, you should call and talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Boise. They’ll explain the criminal process to you. They’ll also explain what the possible ramifications are if you’re convicted. This is why you should call sooner rather than later. Your first court date will be shortly after the charges are filed. You don’t want to risk handling this on your own.