By: Mark Issa
November 11, 2013
Aggravated Stalking 16-5-91
16-5-91. Aggravated Stalking
(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated stalking when such person, in violation of a bond to keep the peace posted pursuant to Code Section 17-6-110, temporary restraining order, temporary protective order, permanent restraining order, permanent protective order, preliminary injunction, good behavior bond, or permanent injunction or condition of pretrial release, condition of probation, or condition of parole in effect prohibiting the behavior described in this subsection, follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person.
(b) Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years and by a fine of not more than $10,000.00. The provisions of subsection (d) of Code Section 16-5-90 apply to sentencing for conviction of aggravated stalking.
What does this all mean?
We have handled numerous Aggravated Stalking case all around the State of Georgia. Unfortunately, when presented with a case that even arguably fits this code section, the police arrest first and ask questions later. Most prosecuting attorneys follow this same pattern when time comes time for bond hearings and prosecuting the case in general.
One of the most common scenarios that we find this charge in arises out of bond conditions. Let’s say that you are arrested for doing basically anything to another person. When you are released from jail, the judge orders that, as part of your bond conditions, you have no contact with this person. As soon as you get out you call this person. Or this person calls you. BOOM. You have now made yourself eligible for an arrest for Aggravated Stalking.
But all is not lost. Consider the following passage taken from Burke v. State, 297 Ga.App. 38 (2009). This is a case where the Defendant was originally convicted of Aggravated Stalking, but had his conviction later reversed by the Georgia Court of Appeals.
“Accordingly, merely violating the order does not establish the offense; the State must also prove that Burke acted for the purpose of harassing and intimidating [the victim].”
Aggravated Stalking is a very technical and fact-driven offense. It is imperative that you obtain representation that is knowledgeable and experienced in defending this offense.