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What does Georgia law say about stalking?

| Jun 13, 2017 | Family Violence |

As tempting as it may be, a Georgia resident may want to avoid following a former spouse around town or simply watching in a manner that could be conceived as menacing or harassing. That former spouse may just call the police and accuse the other party of stalking. Of course, an individual does not just have to physically follow or watch a person in a way that incites fear to be accused of this crime.

The definition of stalking here in Georgia includes more than just one action. Communications involving any electronic device such as a phone or computer that the other party considers harassing or intimidating could result in a charge for stalking. Frequently leaving unwanted gifts, presents or mail for the alleged victim could also be considered stalking.

Usually, more than one such communication is necessary for the crime to be considered stalking. The same could be said for physically following a person around. The key is that the attention is unwanted and intimidates or harasses the individual making the claim.

It is possible that the first time someone is accused of such a crime, he or she did not really understand how the actions were affecting the other individual. The first time someone is accused of stalking, it is considered a misdemeanor. Repeated stalking could result in the charge being upgraded to a felony. In either case, a conviction could result in penalties that include incarceration and fines.

Any Georgia resident charged with stalking would benefit from consulting with an attorney right away. Everyone has the right to challenge the charges they face and confront witnesses against them in court. After a thorough review of the circumstances, evidence and statements, a criminal defense strategy could be devised that provides the best outcome possible to the charges. 

Source: FindLaw, “Georgia Stalking Laws“, Accessed on June 10, 2017

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