Offenses like stalking and harassment can carry quite severe punishments. It is understandable if you are feeling nervous if you are facing charges like these. We know that the criminal court process can be frightening and we want to help put your mind at ease. Putting your confidence in an experienced and trustworthy firm is the first step in a positive court outcome.
Often with charges like this the two people involved had a close relationship. Perhaps what you saw as concern or affection was perceived in another way by the other person. Or maybe you were acting out of anger and jealousy and doing things out of character.
Whatever the case, we want to help. We have handled cases like this many times and want to know the details behind your situation. Call us to discuss the circumstances that led up to your charge.
Please note: We represent and defend clients charged with the criminal offense of harassment.
We can’t help you file harassment charges, or sue someone who is bothering you. If someone is harassing you, and you want them to stop, go to the police station and get a restraining order.
Tennessee Harassment Laws & Penalties
Harassment is an act that is punishable by jail time. You may be facing this serious conviction if you intentionally:
- Threaten to take illegal action against someone and by doing so place them in fear or annoys them;
- Place harassing phone calls to someone and the calls cause fear or annoyance; or
- Tell someone that a relative or other person has been injured or killed when you know this to be untrue.
Typically, harassment is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and fines up to $2,500.
If, however, you were previously convicted of an offense and the harassing behavior is against the same victim, the charge is elevated to a Class E felony which is punishable by 1-6 years in prison.
Ref: TCA 39-17-308
Tennessee Stalking Laws
Stalking laws came about in the 1990s. Initially stalking laws were written in response to behavior committed against the famous. Now, however, they apply to everyone.
Stalking is defined by Tennessee law as willful conduct involving repeated harassment of someone that causes them to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.
Typically stalking is charged as a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $2,500. However, in some situations, stalking is a felony offense.
If any of the following apply you could be charged with a Class E felony, punishable by 1 to 6 years in prison:
- The stalking involved you displaying a weapon;
- The victim is under the age of 18 and you were over the age of 23;
- This is your 2nd stalking charge within 7 years
- You make a credible threat of death or serious harm to the victim or a member of their family; or
- A restraining order was in place.
Especially Aggravated Stalking
Especially aggravated stalking is a Class C felony and the most serious of all stalking and harassment offenses. This felony is punishable by 3-15 years in prison. If any of the following apply to the offense, you could be charged with especially aggravated stalking:
- If you have already been convicted of stalking and the victim is the same;
- Commit aggravated stalking and inflict serious bodily harm on the stalking victim or a member of their family.
With any stalking charge you may be ordered to obtain counseling, undergo treatment, and be on house arrest whether you are sentenced to probation or released early from prison.
Ref: TCA 39-17-315
Call for Help Fighting Criminal Harassment or Stalking Charges in Tennessee
Facing a charge that can haunt you forever can be seriously stressful. We know how the Tennessee courts work and want to assist you during this hard time. Call for a consultation on your harassment or stalking case today. We understand where you are coming from, and only want to help you work out this situation, and defend your rights in court.