Washington Harassment / Stalking Laws
Criminal charges in Washington state of harassment and stalking are typically laden with high emotions due to the relationships involved. When you are facing charges like this your reputation is on the line, as well as your freedom as your future. When it feels like the world is judging you, you need a defense attorney on your side with the right experience.
Police and authorities can be quick to charge criminal offenses based on a minor misunderstanding or incident. Your actions may have been perceived in the wrong way. We can help explain your side to the court. We can ensure your story gets heard, and make sure your rights are defended, as someone who is innocent until proven guilty.
However, maybe you made a mistake you now regret. Perhaps, looking back you can see where you went wrong and are remorseful for your actions. If you are ready to face the charges against you and make things right we can show the court that you are a reasonable person, and want to put this incident behind you.
Whatever the case, the right criminal defense lawyer can be critical to getting the best outcome in court. Contact us today for a free legal case evaluation and defense consultation on your stalking or harassment charge in Washington.
Harassment Charge in Washington – Laws & Penalties
You may be charged with harassment if you threatened to:
1) Cause bodily injury,
2) Cause physical damage to the property of someone,
3) Subject the threatened person or anyone else to physical confinement or restraint, or
4) Maliciously do any other act intended to substantially harm the threatened person or another
The words or conduct used places the threatened person in reasonable fear that the threat will be carried out.
If you have previously been convicted of harassment or commit this offense in violation of a protection order you may be found guilty of a Class C Level III felony punishable by 1-43 months in prison, depending on your criminal history. You will also face fines of up to $10,000 in fines.
If, however, the offense is your first charge and you are not involved in a restraining or protection order, harassment is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines potentially reaching $5,000.
Ref: RCW 9A.46.020
Stalking Charge in Washington – Laws & Penalties
Stalking is very similar to harassment with some very slight differences. You may be charged with this offense if you:
- Intentionally and repeatedly follow another person and
- That person is placed in fear that you intend to injure them or their property and
- You do so knowing (or should know) that the person is afraid, intimidated or harassed even if you don’t intend to frighten them.
In most cases stalking is a gross misdemeanor that carries a potential sentence of up to one year in jail and fines reaching up to $5,000.
However, if this is not your first stalking or harassment charge or you commit the offense in violation of a protection or restraining order than you face Class C felony charges and a potential sentence of up to one year in prison, community service, fines, and a period of community supervision.
Ref: RCW 9A.46.110
Criminal Stalking or Harassment Charge in WA? Get a Legal Defense Case Evaluation
Criminal charges like harassment or stalking can affect your life, your ability to find work, and your relationships. We want to help you in this time of need. We know the stress involved with facing criminal prosecution and want to be there for you at every step.
Find out what we are prepared to do to help you fix this legal mess by taking advantage of our criminal defense consultation today.