How serious is a stalking charge in Colorado?
Stalking is such a pervasive crime that one of the first lines of Colorado’s legislation on the subject states, “Stalking is a serious problem in this state and nationwide,” as conveyed by the Stalking Resource Center. The text further goes on to say that because the general assembly recognizes the seriousness of the crime of stalking, it has taken measures to both encourage and authorize the aggressive intervention before the pursuer can engage in behavior that has more severe consequences. If you face stalking charges, it is imperative that you understand what stalking entails, per the law’s definition, and the consequences of stalking a conviction.
Though stalking typically takes place between two people who once engaged in an intimate relationship, it can also involve persons who have little to no known history. The court may find you guilty of stalking if you directly, indirectly or through another person threaten another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly contact, approach, follow or watch the victim, a member of the victim’s family or someone with whom the victim has an intimate connection. The courts may also find you guilty of stalking if any of the above apply and if your behavior caused the victim or a person close to the victim to suffer severe emotional trauma.
If the courts find you guilty of stalking, you face felony charges and penalties. A first offense may result in a class 5 felony conviction. However, if at the time of the incident the court had an order against you, such as a permanent or temporary protection order, injunction, probation, parole or condition of bond, the charges will elevate to a class 4 felony.
If the courts find you guilty of a second or subsequent stalking offense, you may be guilty of a class 4 felony. This is only the case, however, if the conviction for the prior offense occurred within seven years of the most recent one.
You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for your informational purposes only.