Stalking in Colorado, in the simplest terms, is the “unwanted pursuit of another person.” Most stalking actions in the state fall under the statute for harassment and many of the reported victims were once romantically involved with their alleged stalkers.
In order for someone to be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt with the crime of stalking in Colorado, one of three criminal elements must be present. These elements are:
- A person repeatedly contacts, surveils, approaches, follows or makes any type of communication with someone or their family; or
- A person threatens another person or their immediate family in such a way that a reasonable person would suffer emotional distress; or
- A person threatens and follows another person or their immediate family or someone with whom they have had or continues to have a relationship with.
The first charge of stalking is classified as a Class 5 Felony. If there is a court order in place such as an injunction or a restraining order, whether it is permanent or temporary, the charge is a Class 4 Felony. Should another offense occur within seven years of the last conviction, then the charge is also a Class 4 Felony.
Many stalking cases also include charges of domestic violence. These cases are often “he said, she said” cases, but a large number of defendants submit a guilty plea rather than going to trial for a multitude of reasons.
If you are facing charges of stalking or domestic violence, you are always better off to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney. A conviction could result in a jail or prison sentence, probation, loss of child custody and more. An attorney can prepare a strong defense against these and other charges.