What is the Punishment for Stalking? Penal Code 646.9 PC

January 22, 2023

Stalking is a criminal offense in California, and it is defined as repeatedly following, harassing, or threatening another person with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for their safety or the safety of their family. The punishment for stalking in California is outlined in Penal Code 646.9 pc.

The punishment for stalking in California can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case. However, generally, stalking is considered a wobbler offense, meaning that it can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the severity of the case and the defendant’s prior criminal history.

If convicted of misdemeanor stalking, the punishment can include up to one year in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Additionally, a person may be ordered to stay away from the victim and to participate in counseling or treatment programs.

If convicted of felony stalking, the punishment can include up to 5 years in state prison, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. Additionally, a person may be ordered to stay away from the victim, participate in counseling or treatment programs.

It’s important to note that the punishment can be enhanced if the stalking is committed in violation of a restraining order, or if the victim is a minor, or if the victim is a current or former intimate partner. Also, a conviction for stalking can have serious consequences for a person’s future, including difficulty finding employment, housing, and other opportunities.

Lastly, if the conduct resulted from sexual compulsion or it was done for the purpose sexual gratification, then the court may order the defendant to register as a sex offender – regardless of the conduct being a felony or misdemeanor.

If you’ve been charged with stalking and you’re seeking legal representation, then give us a call today. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Orange County criminal defense attorney.

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