What is Stalking in Arizona A.R.S. 13-2923?
In Arizona, person commits stalking if the person intentionally or knowingly engages in a course of conduct that is directed toward another person and if that conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for the person's safety or the safety of that person's immediate family member and that person in fact fears for their safety or the safety of that person's immediate family member. If the conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear death of that person or that person's immediate family member and that person in fact fears death of that person or that person's immediate family member.
For the purposes of this section: “Course of conduct” means maintaining visual or physical proximity to a specific person or directing verbal, written or other threats, whether express or implied, to a specific person on two or more occasions over a period of time, however short, but does not include constitutionally protected activity. “Immediate family member” means a spouse, parent, child or sibling or any other person who regularly resides in a person's household or resided in a person's household within the past six months.
Penalties for stalking in Arizona A.R.S. 13-2923
Stalking in Arizona, A.R.S. §13-2923, carries a penalty as a class 3 felony or a class 5 felony depending on the circumstances of the case. Stalking is generally treated as a serious offense in Arizona, and the penalties depend on factors such as whether it's a first offense, whether there are any aggravating factors, and the nature of the stalking behavior.
In Arizona, stalking is classified as a felony offense. The specific penalties may include:
Class 3 Felony: Stalking is typically classified as a Class 3 felony in Arizona. A Class 3 felony in Arizona is punishable by a prison term of up to 8.75 years with a presumptive sentence of 3.5 years and a mitigated sentence of 2 years.
- Class 5 Felony: The range of sentencing for a class 5 felony mitigated sentence of .5 years with a presumptive 1.5 years and an aggravated sentence of 2.5 years.
Aggravated Stalking: If certain aggravating factors are present, such as a restraining order being in place, a prior stalking conviction, or the victim being a minor, the offense may be elevated to aggravated stalking. Aggravated stalking is a Class 3 felony but may carry more severe penalties.
Probation: In some cases, a judge may impose probation instead of imprisonment. Probation conditions may include counseling, restraining orders, or other requirements.
It's important to note that laws can change, and penalties may be subject to amendment. Additionally, legal outcomes can be influenced by the specific details of each case. For the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding stalking laws and penalties in Arizona, it's recommended to consult with a criminal defense attorney such as Brian DiPietro.
Common Defenses to Stalking
The following defenses may be raised in a case alleging stalking in Arizona pursuant to A.R.S. 13-2923. The facts in each case often times are different and therefore critical analysis of the alleged facts are necessary to determine which defenses are applicable. There may be other defenses that could be raised based on the individual facts of each case.
Lack of Intent: Stalking typically involves a pattern of intentional, repeated, and unwanted behavior. If it can be demonstrated that there was no intent to cause fear or distress, it may be a viable defense.
False Accusations: If there is evidence that the alleged victim falsely accused the defendant of stalking, it may be a defense. This could involve presenting evidence that disproves the allegations.
Legitimate Purpose: If the defendant had a legitimate reason for their actions, such as employment-related activities, law enforcement duties, or other lawful activities, it might be a defense.
Consent: If the alleged victim consented to the defendant's actions, it may be a defense. However, this defense might be challenging to establish, especially if the victim withdrew consent at any point.
- Insufficient evidence: The evidence in support of a stalking allegation may be insufficient to support proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
Contact a Stalking Crimes Defense Lawyer in Maricopa County
This is an offense that at times results in the context of domestic violence. Immediately contact a criminal defense attorney to protect the rights of the accused. Call Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC today for a free case evaluation about your pending stalking case in Arizona. Brian Di Pietro is an experienced, tough, aggressive Phoenix criminal defense attorney who will work hard to fight the charges against you to achieve the most favorable outcome for your particular stalking case. Contact now Brian Di Pietro Law, PLLC at 623-242-2655 for a free confidential case evaluation about your stalking charge in Arizona.