Reports out of Richmond County show that a former deputy with the county is now facing a new charge of aggravated stalking in connection to a domestic violence case.
He has been accused of attacking the mother of his youngest child last spring. He was arraigned on the newest charge two weeks ago. Investigators and authorities assigned to the case believe that he allegedly contacted the same woman with the purpose to “harass and intimidate her.” This was in direct violation of the 12 month protection order that she was granted against him in April of last year.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney, my goal in today's post is to outline the laws behind the offenses of stalking and aggravated stalking. Most people are unaware that a person can receive a charge for aggravated stalking by simply violating a protective order.
Stalking and Aggravated Stalking
The Georgia Code outlines the law behind stalking in Georgia as:
A person will be convicted when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person. O.C.G.A. §16-5-90.
The offense is elevated to aggravated stalking in Georgia when a person violates "a bond to keep the peace." This is explained in O.C.G.A. §16-5-91:
A person will be convicted when, in violation of a bond to keep the peace posted pursuant to Code Section 17-6-10, temporary restraining order, temporary protective order, permanent restraining order, permanent protective order, preliminary injunction, good behavior bond, or permanent injunction or condition of pretrial release, condition of probation or condition of parole in effect prohibiting the behavior described in this subsection, follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person.
In order to be convicted of aggravated stalking, the prosecution must demonstrate that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt just as with any other crime.
This must be done by showing that there is a pattern of harassing and intimidating the victim as well as a violation of an order granted by the Court. One single violation of a protective order or one single incident of harassing or intimidating behavior is not sufficient because it does not show a pattern.
If convicted of aggravated stalking, a person is guilty of a felony in Georgia. The penalties can include up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Call our lawyers today if you or a loved one has been arrested in the state of Georgia. We can help you with your case now.