Stalking allegations may lead to criminal charges, as well as consequences that affect your family, your job, and other areas of your life. Defending against a stalking charge with the assistance of a Nashville stalking defense lawyer may avoid harsh penalties and protect your future. Attorney Bernie McEvoy recognizes that stalking cases often involve personal or sensitive situations. He can provide compassionate defense representation to help you fight accusations of stalking or other domestic violence crimes in Davidson or Williamson County.Overview of Tennessee Stalking Crimes
In Tennessee, stalking is a criminal offense. Stalking generally refers to acts of harassment toward another person that reasonably, and actually, cause the person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or threatened. Typically, stalking involves non-consensual contact with someone, such as following them, showing up at their home or work, or calling or texting them, in a manner that causes emotional distress.
To get a conviction in a stalking case, the prosecution must prove that the defendant engaged in a willful course of conduct that involved repeated or continuing harassment of another individual, the conduct would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and the conduct actually caused the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. Stalking is usually a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a maximum $2,500 fine. Stalking may be charged as a Class E felony if the defendant is a registered sexual offender, or if there are other allegations that constitute a greater crime. A stalking defense attorney in the Nashville area can explain the type of charge that you may be facing.Enhanced Stalking Charges
Aggravated stalking is a Class E felony that may be charged in specific circumstances that are provided in the statute. Aggravated stalking is committed by displaying a deadly weapon in the course of stalking, or by threatening the victim or the victim’s immediate family to provoke a fear of death or bodily injury. Aggravated stalking may also be charged if the defendant has a prior stalking conviction within the last seven years, if the defendant violated a restraining order or an order of protection in committing the offense, or if the victim was a minor and the defendant is five or more years older than the victim. A conviction could mean up to six years in prison and a $3,000 fine, in addition to other consequences.
The most serious stalking offense is especially aggravated stalking, which is a Class C felony. Especially aggravated stalking applies when the defendant is an adult and the victim was under 12 years of age at any time during the offense. In addition, if the defendant has been previously convicted of stalking the same victim as in the current case, the defendant will likely face an especially aggravated stalking charge. In some cases, aggravated stalking may be raised to especially aggravated stalking if the defendant intentionally or recklessly caused a serious bodily injury to the victim or the victim’s family. Especially aggravated stalking is punishable by a maximum 15-year prison sentence and a monetary fine. You should promptly retain a Nashville stalking defense attorney if you are facing this type of charge.
In addition to criminal penalties, other conditions may be imposed upon a conviction of any stalking offense. In many cases, the court will grant an order of protection or restraining order against the defendant. The court may require the defendant to wear an electronic tracking device. The court may also order a mental health evaluation, counseling at the defendant’s expense, or drug testing to monitor whether the defendant is taking any psychiatric medications that are prescribed.Discuss a Stalking Charge with a Nashville Attorney
Bernie McEvoy has successfully defended many individuals who have been arrested for stalking, sex crimes, and other serious offenses. He can assist people in Nashville and Franklin, as well as other areas in Davidson and Williamson Counties. If you need legal advice in a criminal matter, contact the Law Office of Bernie McEvoy. We are available by phone at (615) 255-9595, or (615) 804-8779 on nights and weekends, and through our website if you need to discuss your situation with a stalking defense lawyer in the Nashville area.