Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.

Fairfax/Manassas Criminal & Personal Injury Blog

As Virginia teens mature, they will get into relationships or seek to get into relationships with others. Given their age and that there can be a frequent misunderstanding as to what is appropriate and legal when embarking on these relationships, there can be a blurring of the line as to what they can and cannot do according to the law. One aspect is stalking. Understanding what stalking is and the potential long-term consequences for it is important to those who are facing accusations of taking part in it.

Under state law, stalking consists of taking part in behavior with another individual and intending to place them in fear of death, bodily injury or sexual assault. This can be to the person or to the person's family or a member of the household. This must occur at least two times to constitute stalking.

Stalking is a Class 1 misdemeanor except in cases for those who have been convicted twice or more than twice within five years. Then it is a Class 6 felony.

A juvenile might not fully understand what stalking is and how it can place him or her in the juvenile law system. Those who have been accused of this act need to be aware of how it can negatively affect their lives if they are convicted. Perhaps there can be an alternative sentence to prevent harsher penalties. The key for a juvenile who is accused of stalking is to have legal help from an attorney who is experienced with helping clients who have been accused of a juvenile criminal offense.

Source: Virginia Rules, "What is stalking?" Accessed in Aug. 14, 2016

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