Being accused of stalking can negatively impact your daily life. Stalking charges are taken seriously in California. If you are ultimately convicted, you can expect felony charges and strict restraining orders that can limit where you can live and work. If you have been charged with stalking in San Diego, the risks are too severe to go without the representation of a skilled criminal defense attorney.
At Bernal Law, our principal stalking defense attorney, Pedro Bernal, worked as a prosecutor for almost a decade and understands how to defend against the prosecution’s tactics. He has a proven track record of success and is ready to help you protect your rights and interests. When you partner with our firm, you can rest assured your case is in the capable hands of a seasoned legal professional.
How Can a Skilled Stalking Defense Attorney in San Diego Help You?
After being accused of a crime, many individuals incorrectly assume they may face automatic conviction. Fortunately, this is not necessarily the case. A skilled stalking defense attorney in San Diego can help you fight your charges and craft a defense tailored to your unique situation. The skilled legal team at Bernal Law is prepared to assist you in the following ways:
- Thoroughly investigating every detail of your case
- Preparing your case for trial
- Collecting evidence and devising a solid defense strategy
- Negotiating with the prosecution on your behalf
- Helping you formulate a plea deal
- Ensuring you understand your legal rights and options
- Evaluating potential sentences
- Guiding you through every step of the complex criminal justice system
Your San Diego stalking defense attorney will evaluate every detail of the incident and gather evidence to cast doubt on the prosecution’s case. Attorney Pedro Bernal’s experience as a prosecutor gives him unique insight into how to best combat the charges against you and protect your rights and freedoms.
What Are California’s Stalking Laws?
Under California Penal Code §646.9(a), criminal stalking consists of two elements:
- The defendant intentionally and maliciously harassed or repeatedly followed the victim
- The defendant made a credible threat against the victim or their immediate family
The prosecution bears the burden of proof when it comes to criminal charges and must establish your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to achieve a conviction.
California punishes stalking harshly, and those convicted may face life-altering consequences. Stalking is classified as a wobbler offense and may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the facts of the case. If you are convicted of a misdemeanor, you may face up to one year in county jail and a $1,000 fine. On the other hand, felony convictions carry penalties of up to five years in state prison and a fine of $1,000. Because the stakes are so high, it is essential to retain the services of a talented stalking defense attorney.
Defending Against Stalking Charges in San Diego California
There are various strong defense strategies your San Diego stalking defense attorney may utilize to reduce or dismiss your stalking charges. A few of the most common defenses for stalking accusations in California include the following:
- A lack of a credible threat: To be found guilty of stalking, the defendant must have made a credible threat against the victim. Therefore, your attorney may assert that while a threat may have been made, it was not credible or meant seriously.
- A lack of intent to frighten: Another essential element of a stalking offense is a threat intended to scare the victim. Through this strategy, your attorney may claim that the threat in question was not meant to cause any fear.
- The defendant’s actions are protected under their constitutional rights: If the defendant’s alleged stalking behaviors are covered under their constitutional rights, such as lawfully protesting, they did not commit a crime.
- Your identity was mistaken: If the defendant misidentified you as their stalker, you may be charged with a crime despite your innocence. In this scenario, your stalking defense attorney in San Diego can present evidence contradicting your ability and opportunity to commit the crime.
This is only a partial list, and your San Diego stalking defense attorney will customize your defense to the facts of your case. The skilled stalking defense attorneys at Bernal Law will take the time to get to know you and your situation and personalize their services to your needs.
Discuss Your Legal Options With a Seasoned San Diego Stalking Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with stalking in California, you need a highly qualified defense attorney on your side. At Bernal Law, we are dedicated to providing the best possible representation to the criminally accused. We aim to get to the heart of your case by gathering evidence and conducting a meticulous investigation. We understand the stresses of facing criminal charges, and we will do everything we can to make the legal process as straightforward as possible.