Nevada law defines stalking (NRS 200.575) as repeatedly and continuously engaging in any activity that harasses, frightens or intimidates another person. If someone has accused you of this infraction, you need to be aware of one thing: Nevada courts take stalking seriously.
Stalking behaviors vary widely. While there is no standard list of specifics, they will normally include such things as:
- Following a person on foot or in a car.
- Routinely appearing uninvited at a person’s home, place of business or social purlieu.
- Making repeated and unwelcome attempts at communication, including texting.
- Regularly sending unwanted gifts.
- Quizzing friends, family or co-workers for personal information.
- Defacing a person’s property.
If these behaviors occur in a way that intimidates or frightens the alleged victim, they fit the definition of stalking.
If a stalking behavior puts a person in reasonable fear of bodily harm or death, the perpetrator is committing aggravated stalking. This is a felony, and it applies when the offender makes verbal threats, displays aggressive body language or brandishes a weapon while stalking.
Some call it cyberstalking, and Nevada law defines it as using the Internet or other electronic device to harass or stalk an individual, organization or group without the victim’s consent. The activities can range from repeated phoning, texting and emailing to engaging in slander, libel, defamation or false accusation through social media. If such communications give the target any cause for alarm, Nevada law considers them to be stalking.
Penalties for Stalking
In determining the punishment for stalking, the law will consider the severity of the specific activity as well as whether it is a first or subsequent offense.
First Stalking Offense
In the eyes of Nevada law, a first stalking offense is a misdemeanor only if it did not involve the Internet or engender fear of bodily harm. The normal penalties will include a jail sentence of up to six months and a $1,000 fine. The courts may also order the defendant to undergo psychological treatment and avoid further contact with the alleged victim.
Subsequent Stalking Offense
The law considers a second or subsequent stalking offense to be a gross misdemeanor. Halfway in severity between a simple misdemeanor and a felony, its penalty can include a $2,000 fine and up to two years in jail or three years’ probation.
Internet and Aggravated Stalking
Internet stalking is a category C felony in Nevada, and punishment can involve a possible prison sentence of one to five years in duration and a fine as great as $10,000. A conviction for aggravated stalking, a category B felony, can command a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence that ranges between two and 15 years. For either of these felonies, the judge can also order a one- to five-year probationary period.
Although a number of legal activities may share some commonalities with stalking, the law does not consider them prosecutorial offenses. These include actions performed while: – Picketing during a strike or other labor dispute.
- Performing legally sanctioned occupational duties.
- Gathering information for public dissemination under the aegis of a recognized news organization.
- Lawfully assembling and engaging in free expression under the First Amendment.
False Allegations and Exaggerated Claims
Upon closer investigation, charges of stalking often prove baseless. Some derive from an honest misunderstanding of the accused’s true intentions. Others consist of deliberate exaggerations or out-and-out falsehoods.
Your Nevada Stalking Defense
The crime of stalking is a serious one, and the state of Nevada treats it that way. If you should find yourself charged with this infraction, your future will depend on retaining a good criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
The experienced criminal attorneys at Weiner Law Group can help. Through a thorough investigation of the situation and evaluation of the accuser’s credibility, our expert lawyers can often get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely. The burden of proof falls upon the prosecutor, and any reasonable doubt can result in an acquittal. Even in the presence of strong evidence against you, a competent defense attorney can often negotiate a plea bargain or otherwise obtain a reduction of the charges.
Don’t let another day go by. Call Weiner Law Group at 702-202-0500 and obtain the representation you need and deserve.