Possible Defenses to Stalking Charges
Stalking is intentional, repeated, and unwanted contact with another person. The contact can be physical or virtual (online), and it is usually meant to harm the offender. The harm can be physical, mental, or both. Here are a few defenses you can use if you are ever accused of stalking.
Prove Lack of Knowledge
Stalking is an intentional crime; you cannot stalk someone without knowing it. For example, it is not stalking if you don't know that your stalker is at a certain restaurant and you also to the restaurant for breakfast. Thus, you can use the lack of knowledge of the accuser's whereabouts to defend yourself if someone accuses you of stalking them.
Deny Stalking Elements
The wording on stalking laws may vary by state, but they have a few common elements that your actions must meet to rise to the level of stalking. For example, in most states, an action is considered stalking if it is repeated, intentional, and meant to instill fear or cause harm (emotional or physical) to the victim. Disapproving one of these elements may help you escape the stalking charges. For example, if you can prove that you only called your accuser once, it may not be regarded as stalking.
Cite Your Accuser's Unreasonableness
You can also claim that your accuser's fear is unfounded or unreasonable. This is an affirmative defense in that you are admitting to your actions, but you deny nefarious intentions and your accuser's interpretation of your actions. Say your accuser works as a bank teller, and they think you are stalking them when you go to make a cash deposit. In such a case, you can claim that the accuser is unreasonable since you only went there for banking purposes.
Invoke Your Rights to Free Speech
Stalking is not just following someone. Any unwanted contact that can harm someone can be considered stalking. For example, a person may accuse you of stalking them if you keep calling them or sending emails or letters to the person. You can invoke your right to free speech to defend yourself from this type of stalking accusation. This may work if your accuser is a public figure, for example, a local mayor, and you have been contacting them about a problem in your community.
Don't forget that anyone charged with a crime is innocent before proven guilty, and you have your rights as a criminal suspect. Do your best to defend yourself by contacting a law firm such as Law Offices Of Harry G Lasser.