There are four different types of Stalking ranging from Misdemeanor charges to 2 Felony charges. The first Misdemeanor Stalking charge is Stalking in the fourth degree, which is a B Misdemeanor, and the highest is Stalking in the first degree, which is a class D Felony. The basic concept of Stalking is that the accused places the victim in fear for her safety by showing up or following or initiating contact through some type of communication or starting another type of communication after the victim has requested for all communication toend.
After the Alleged stalker is told to stop this conduct, the law uses a "reasonable person" standard to determine whether any further contact would place a person in fear for his safety. If the answer is "yes," (a reasonable person would be in fear) than the Stalking Law has been violated.
Any Buffalo area Stalking attorney will tell you the Offices of the District Attorney in Erie County are more sensitive to Stalking cases because they have potential to lead to more serious crimes and more serious criminal charges. Stalking cases have turned into assault, sex crimes, rapes, kidnapping, robbery and even murder. That's why the Courts, after an arrest on a Stalking charge, generally issue an Order of Protection. The purpose is to stop all contact and communication between parties and by stopping the contact, it stops the criminal behavior from escalating to one of the more serious crimes. Defending Stalking cases focuses the defense on the mind set of the parties. Was it reasonable for the alleged victim to fear for his or her safety and well-being? Was there a legitimate purpose for the alleged perpetrator to be interacting with the alleged victim? Remember the legal standard is that the District Attorney has to prove guilt is beyond a reasonable doubt. The burden of proof is on the District Attorney not the Buffalo Area Stalking Defense Attorney. Very often these cases do not involve witnesses. Therefore, the Stalking case is a "he said, she said' and the case will be a battle of credibility between the parties.