Harassment and Stalking are criminal offense that Arizona courts often prosecute aggressively. The can be elements of a domestic violence offense, or criminal offenses on their own. Because there is often a personal relationship between the alleged victim and alleged perpetrator, these can be complex and emotionally charged cases.
Contact us for legal advice on how we can help defend you. Our Arizona criminal defense attorneys will be on your side, to help diffuse and prevent the serious legal consequences these charges can bring. Prosecutors are out to convict you, and courts are unsympathetic and indifferent at best, to your situation. But we are here to help you.
Just being accused of stalking or harassment will frequently result in a restraining or protection order. An order of protection or harassment against you will instantly show up on a background check or criminal records check for all to see, without you ever being convicted of a crime. And a conviction or guilty plea will leave a permanent criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life.
And these are just minor considerations compared to the more serious penalties under Arizona harassment & stalking laws that include serious jail time.
If you are accused of a stalking or harassment charge, get the best Arizona defense lawyer you can. Call us or contact us now to find out what we can do to help.
Arizona Harassment – Laws and Penalties
Harassment can include any of the following acts:
- Continually following someone after being asked to stop
- Putting someone under surveillance for no legitimate purpose
- Harassing communication by mail, phone, in person, email, or any other means
- Making a false report to police or social service organization to harass another
- Interfering with the delivery of public utilities to another
- Any other harassing behavior
Harassment is generally a Class 1 misdemeanor and punishable by fines up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail. Typically with harassment charges an order of protection will also be put in place to keep the parties separate.
See: Arizona Harassment Laws ARS 13-2921
Aggravated Harassment – Laws and Penalties
A far more serious charge, aggravated harassment, carries harsher punishments. You may be charged with aggravated harassment if:
- An order of protection has been violated, or
- You have previously been convicted of domestic violence offenses
Aggravated harassment is considered a felony and carries a sentence of up to 1 ½ years in prison, along with the stigma of being labeled a convicted felon.
See: Aggravated Harassment Laws ARS 13-2921.01
Arizona Stalking Laws & Penalties
Essentially, the difference between stalking and harassment is the fear that stalking places in the victim. Stalking is a more serious offense and typically involves more predatory behavior by the alleged offender.
Your behavior could be considered stalking if it:
- Causes the victim to fear for their safety or the safety of their family or fear death.
Stalking is a serious felony that carries a potential sentence of up to 3 ½ years in prison. When facing time like this it is vital that you have a skilled attorney working on your side.
See: Arizona Stalking Laws ARS 13-2923
Both stalking and harassment laws in Arizona also apply to acts done solely in the “virtual” world. These Arizona laws began being applied to the cyber-world in 1999. The elements and potential sentences are no less harsh for cyber-stalking or cyber-harassment.
Depending on your relationship to the alleged victim, both harassment and stalking can be considered domestic violence crimes.
Remember, even if you are innocent of the charges, violating an order of protection will bring new charges and possible jail time.