Let’s say a girl breaks up with a controlling boyfriend. Thereafter, he seems to follow her around, showing up everywhere she goes, calls her phone regularly, and makes her feel as if he is always there.
This is a simple example of stalking. It would be treated much more seriously under West Virginia stalking law if it involves verbal threats.
West Virginia stalking laws apply to "Any person who repeatedly follows another, knowing or having reason to know that the conduct causes the person followed to reasonably fear for his or her safety or suffer significant emotional distress."
Closely related to stalking is harassment, defined in the same law as "Any person who repeatedly harasses or repeatedly makes credible threats against another.
Stalking is a misdemeanor. If it’s your first offense, you could serve up to 6 months in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.
If the stalking is in violation of a court no-contact order or restraining order, you could spend from 90 days to 1 year in county jail and have to pay a fine of up to $5,000.
For additional convictions, fines get steeper and so does the jail time. A second offense occurring within 5 years of a prior conviction is elevated to a felony punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of $3,000 to $10,000.
If a restraining order is already in place against that person, the fines and penalties can be even more severe.
The same law states that someone guilty of harassment in West Virginia has "committed a misdemeanor and … shall be incarcerated … for not more than six months or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both."
Stalking and harassment are serious crimes. As such you owe it to yourself to hire Clarksburg Criminal Defense Attorney Todd La Neve to represent you. For an effective defense, contact La Neve Law Offices now!