Facing stalking charges in Rhode Island can be frightening. You do not have to face the prosecution alone. The team of Rhode Island criminal defense lawyers at Marin and Barrett, Inc. can put their 25 years of criminal defense experience to work helping you fight your case. Stalking charges should not be taken lightly. In RI you face the prospect of up to 5 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine if convicted. Serious charges require a serious defense. Call us today at 401-228-8271.
Rhode Island Stalking Defense Lawyers
Marin and Barrett Law Firm
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What is stalking in Rhode Island?
Like virtually all cases in criminal law, the facts and circumstances of each case will dictate the appropriate defense or defenses to use. However, there are some defenses specific to stalking. For instance, both crimes could potentially charge an individual even though their conduct was constitutionally protected; free speech and expression protected by the first amendment is not subject to prosecution for stalking. Both statutes also require a course of conduct, which means that the State cannot make its case simply for an isolated incident. Again, the potential defenses are limited only by the facts of each case, so if you are facing a stalking or cyberstalking charge, call us today and let us get to work on finding the best defense for you.
What is cyberstalking in Rhode Island?
Cyberstalking is outlawed by Rhode Island General Law 11-52-4.2. Much like stalking, cyberstalking prohibits harassing a specific person by a willful course of conduct, which serves no legitimate purpose, specifically to cause them emotional distress or put them in fear of bodily injury. Cyberstalking is characterized as a computer crime because the course of conduct must be transmitted by computer or other electronic device.
What is the difference between stalking and cyberstalking?
What separates cyberstalking from stalking is that cyberstalking must be transmitted by computer or other electronic device, whereas stalking may be done in person or over the phone. While each statute aims to prevent harassing conduct, the manner in which the harassment takes place is very different and thereby have different statutes and penalties.
What are the penalties for stalking in Rhode Island?
The penalties for stalking are laid out in Rhode Island General Law 11-59-2(b), which classifies stalking as a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Additionally, if the victim of the crime is in a domestic relationship, than the conviction is characterized as a domestic violence offense under 12-29-2 and includes a no contact order with the victim and required domestic violence counseling.
What are the penalties for cyberstalking in Rhode Island?
The penalties for cyberstalking are laid out in Rhode Island General Law 11-52-4.2 (a) and (b). For a first offense conviction, cyberstalking is classified as a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison, a $500 fine, or both. For second and subsequent convictions, cyberstalking is elevated to a felony and is punishable by up to two years in prison, up to a $6,000 fine, or both. If the parties are in a domestic relationship then the cyberstalking is considered a domestic violence offense and includes statutory sentencing enhancements including a No Contact Order and domestic violence counseling.
Are stalking and cyberstalking domestic violence offenses?
Potentially yes. The Rhode Island Domestic Violence statute 12-29-2 includes both stalking and cyberstalking as domestic violence crimes. What that means is that if the victim and the accused are in a domestic relationship, then the conviction results in a domestic violence conviction and requires the individual complete domestic violence counseling in addition to the other penalties. Domestic violence offenses are taken very seriously and convictions can have severe consequences. If you or a loved one has been accused of domestic stalking or cyberstalking, call us today and put us to work fighting your case.
Are there defenses to stalking and cyberstalking?
Absolutely. Like virtually all cases in criminal law, the facts and circumstances of each case will dictate the appropriate defense or defenses to use. However, there are some defenses specific to stalking. For instance, both crimes could potentially charge an individual even though their conduct was constitutionally protected; free speech and expression protected by the first amendment is not subject to prosecution for stalking. Both statutes also require a course of conduct, which means that the State cannot make its case simply for an isolated incident. Again, the potential defenses are limited only by the facts of each case, so if you are facing a stalking or cyberstalking charge, call us today and let us get to work on finding the best defense for you.
Can stalking charges be dismissed?
Potentially. The State takes charges of stalking and cyberstalking very seriously and are not likely to dismiss a case outright without a compelling reason to do so. Sometimes charges are dismissed because the State simply realizes that it cannot makes its case with the evidence it has. More often however, if the State is willing to dismiss a case it is because an attorney worked the case and was able to impress upon the State that the case was not a strong as they had originally believed. This is where having a knowledgeable, experienced attorney by your side can really make a difference.
Should I hire a Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer for stalking or cyberstalking charges?
You have been reading these FAQs, which means you know that these charges ca n have serious consequences and can be difficult to defend. It also means that you are taking your charges seriously. Hiring an attorney that understands your case and is willing to give it the best defense possibly is a great start. Call us today and put us to work fighting your case right away. We are available 24/7 at 401-228-8271.
If you have been charged with stalking, you should contact the RI Stalking Lawyers at Marin and Barrett, Inc. right away. You are facing a felony conviction with years of probation and large monetary fines, at a minimum. Under Rhode Island, an individual convicted of stalking is guilty of a FELONY and can be sentenced to prison for up to five years and can be fined up to $10,000.
We take our job as Rhode Island Stalking Defense Lawyer very seriously, and work relentlessly to achieve the very best result for our clients in and out of court. We strongly believe that a well-planned defense strategy and the assistance of an experienced and skillful Rhode Island Stalking Lawyer can make all the difference between a criminal conviction - and a verdict of “not guilty.”
RI STALKING LAW
§ 11-59-1 Definitions. – For the purpose of this chapter:
(1) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."
(2) "Harasses" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person with the intent to seriously alarm, annoy, or bother the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury.
§ 11-59-2 Stalking prohibited.
(a) Any person who:
(1) harasses another person; or
(2) willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of bodily injury, is guilty of the crime of stalking.
(b)Stalking shall be deemed a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years, by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.