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Phoenix Stalking Lawyer

Phoenix Stalking LawyerWere you arrested for stalking in Phoenix, AZ? Stalking is charged as a felony in Arizona, and a conviction can leave you with a permanent criminal record on top of possible jail or prison time. If you’re convicted, you could also face difficulty finding housing or employment in the future.

When this much is at stake, it’s critical that you have a reputable Phoenix stalking lawyer to stand up for you and your rights. That’s exactly what Orent Law Offices can do when you hire us to represent you. Craig Orent has been trying criminal cases for more than 33 years and is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the State Bar of Arizona.

Contact our law offices by calling (480) 656-7301 or by reaching out online. We offer a free initial consultation to review your case.

How Orent Law Offices Can Help if You’ve Been Charged With Stalking in Phoenix, Arizona

How Orent Law Offices Can Help if You’ve Been Charged With Stalking in Phoenix, Arizona

It can feel like the entire world is against you after you’ve been arrested on stalking charges in Phoenix, Arizona. The prosecution, police, and the person accusing you of the act can certainly make you feel that way. However, it’s key to remember that you’re innocent until proven guilty. You still have time to form an effective defense.

Orent Law Offices is just the criminal defense law firm for the job. We’ll listen to your side of the story with a sympathetic ear, and then we’ll get to work fighting for your rights and interests. We’re led by one of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys in Phoenix. Craig Orent has been named one of The Nation’s Top One Percent Attorneys by the National Association of Distinguished Council as well as a Top 100 Trial Attorney by The National Trial Lawyers. Hiring us means you’ll have a legal team to:

  • Thoroughly investigate the prosecution’s case against you as well as the totality of the circumstances surrounding your arrest
  • Negotiating to have your charges reduced or dismissed, if possible
  • Protecting your constitutional rights at each stage of the process
  • Bringing your case before a Maricopa County jury if need be

Reach out to our Phoenix criminal defense attorney today for more information. Your initial consultation is free, and there’s also no obligation to hire us afterward.


An Overview of Stalking Law in Arizona

Arizona broadened its stalking law in 2016 with the passing of House Bill (HB) 2419. This bill amended the state’s existing stalking law, covered under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) Section 13-2923.

Section 13-2923 states that a person commits the offense of stalking when they intentionally or knowingly engage in a course of conduct that is directed toward another person, where that conduct causes the person either to:

  • Experience Reasonable Fear or Emotional Distress. This is one of the two categories of stalking charges in Arizona. In order for this category to be satisfied, the alleged victim must experience a reasonable fear that their property will be damaged or destroyed or that they or someone close to them will be physically injured

This fear can apply to the alleged victim’s family members, spouse, pets, past spouses, roommates, or even prior roommates if they resided with the victim within the past six months of the last alleged act of stalking.

Stalking under this subsection of Section 13-2923 constitutes a Class 5 Felony.

  • Reasonably Fear Death. This is the second category of stalking charges in Arizona. For this category to be fulfilled, the victim must have a reasonable fear that they or someone close to them will die. The same types of people apply here as they do in the first category of stalking charges.

Stalking under this subsection of Section 13-2923 is charged as a Class 3 Felony.

What Does “Course of Conduct” Mean?

ARS 13-2923 goes on to define what constitutes a “course of conduct” in the context of stalking charges. Generally speaking, it refers to what the person accused of stalking did to cause the alleged victim to experience reasonable fear. The statute states that the following situations may be considered a course of conduct, either directly or indirectly:

  • Maintain close physical or visible contact with a person on two or more separate occasions
  • Written, verbal, or other types of threats to a specific person on two or more separate occasions
  • Using a device to conduct surveillance of a specific person or their internet activity for 12 continuous hours on two or more separate occasions
  • Send or cause to be sent language, words, or images to a specific person without their authorization on two or more separate occasions via electronic means

The person charged with stalking need not complete these tasks alone; doing so through a third party can also lead to an arrest.

What Does “Emotional Distress” Mean?

The statute also defines emotional distress in this context. ARS 13-2923 states that emotional distress means distress or mental suffering that could require professional or medical treatment. However, the alleged victim need not actually procure that treatment in order for the experience in question to meet the terms of the statute.

Section 13-2923 now reflects the changes made by HB 2419. Before that bill was passed, the state’s stalking law only applied to the alleged victim and their immediate family members. As described above, it can now apply to the victim’s property as well as a larger group of people.

What Are the Penalties and Consequences of a Stalking Conviction in Phoenix?

The penalties for a stalking conviction differ depending on the type of Felony the accused is charged with. The penalties for a Class 5 felony under the “Reasonable Fear or Emotional Distress” portion of the statute could include probation, up to a year in jail, or between six months to two and a half years in prison.

For the “Reasonably Fear Death” part of the statute that is charged as a Class 3 Felony, the penalties could include probation, up to a year in jail, or between two to eight and three-quarters years in prison.

However, these are just the baseline penalties. Felony crimes in Arizona can carry enhanced penalties if certain aggravating circumstances are met. Arizona law contains a list of over 20 circumstances that can lead to increased penalties.

In addition to those circumstances, the existence of a prior criminal record can severely increase the potential jail or prison sentence in the State of Arizona. The prison sentence can be increased to up to 25 years for a Class 3 Felony conviction or up to seven and a half years for a Class 5 Felony conviction.

Collateral Consequences of a Stalking Conviction in Phoenix

The penalties discussed thus far are those imposed by the criminal justice system. However, there are additional consequences of a stalking conviction that can be just as serious. These include:

  • Loss of eligibility for certain government assistance programs
  • Difficulty finding a job
  • Difficulty finding housing
  • Immigration issues, if applicable
  • Loss of gun rights
  • Loss of voting rights

The prosecution has considerable discretion in how to charge and pursue the cases they handle, and there is also significant variability in the penalties associated with stalking charges.

For these reasons, it’s especially important that you have a skilled criminal defense attorney to represent you. Your future and your freedom are at stake; this is not the time to cut corners. Reach out to us today for legal advice and to learn more about how we can help.

What Defenses Can I Raise if I’ve Been Accused of Stalking in Phoenix, AZ?

There is no “one size fits all” defense to stalking charges in Phoenix, Arizona. The defenses available will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding the alleged stalking. However, examples of defenses might include:

  • Your constitutional rights were violated, for example, an unlawful search and seizure
  • You did not possess the required intent or knowledge that the statute requires for a conviction
  • It was a case of mistaken identity and/or you have an alibi
  • The prosecution hasn’t provided enough evidence to support every element of your charges beyond a reasonable doubt, as is necessary for a conviction

As part of our internal investigation of your case, we’ll be sure to conduct the necessary legal research to determine the defenses best suited for your case.


Schedule a Free Consultation With a Trusted Phoenix Stalking Lawyer Today

Stalking charges simply cannot be overlooked. A felony criminal record can have lasting consequences and can make it significantly more challenging to live comfortably going forward.

With a skilled Phoenix stalking lawyer in your corner, you can rest assured that you’re doing what you can to stand up for yourself. Prosecutors won’t be able to take advantage of you when you hire Orent Law Offices like they might if you were unrepresented or represented by a less experienced lawyer.

Contact us today to set up your free consultation. We’re ready to begin helping you fight back against your stalking charges today.

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