Being accused of the offence of stalking is a serious matter which can result in fines and even prison sentences of up to 5 years. This means that it is extremely important to consult a criminal defence solicitor if you are accused of this offence.
What is stalking?
Stalking is a criminal offence under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010. The legislation states that a person is guilty of stalking someone if their ‘course of conduct’ causes the other person fear or alarm.
What ‘conduct’ is considered stalking?
What is included as stalking under the legislation is extensive and includes:
- following another person,
- contacting the other person in any way (including phone calls, emails, and text messages),
- publishing statements about the other person or publishing statements pretending to be from the other person,
- monitoring the person’s electronic communications (such as emails),
- entering homes or other buildings,
- interfering with the other person’s property,
- giving things to other people (even items intended as gifts),
- watching or spying on people and,
- doing anything else which would be reasonably expected to cause another person fear or alarm.
The list above demonstrates how complex a case of stalking can be and highlights the need to obtain experienced, specialist advice if you are accused of this offence. Our team at Robert Kerr Partnership have the experience to help you through this.
For the offence of stalking to be committed, the conduct by the accused person must have occurred on more than one occasion (making it a course of conduct).
What happens if I am accused of stalking?
In Scotland, the police will investigate any claims of stalking brought to their attention. If based on the evidence they find, the police believe the case should go further, they will bring charges against the accused.
Conditions placed on the accused
From being charged, there may be certain conditions imposed upon someone accused of stalking. For example, conditions on being released on bail awaiting a trial may be imposed. These could include restrictions on your movements or communications with the alleged victim.
In serious cases, a guilty verdict of stalking can result in imprisonment of up to 5 years. There could be orders restricting your behaviour and fines put in place in less serious cases.
Criminal Defence Solicitors in Paisley, Glasgow & Greenock
Given the complexities of stalking cases and the potentially severe consequences which arise from them, it is important that if you find yourself accused of this offence, you contact a criminal defence solicitor as soon as possible.
The criminal defence team at the Robert Kerr Partnership have a fantastic reputation for their criminal work in Scotland. Our team will support and fight for you while guiding you through the difficulties which arise in criminal proceedings.