Maryland Stalking and Harassment Penalties
Depending on the severity of the allegations and what exactly took place, someone facing a stalking offense in Maryland could be charged with anywhere from a $300 fine to up to five years in jail. In addition, stalking offenses can negatively affect a number of different aspects of an individual’s life including both their personal relationships and professional status.
For these reasons, it is important that those accused of stalking build the strongest defense possible for their case by finding an experienced Maryland stalking lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can make sure you are aware the specific penalties you may be facing, and mitigate the harm as much as possible. Call today to schedule a consultation and learn more.
Factors Involved in Stalking Cases
No matter what kind of stalking charge is alleged against a person, they are always subject to the possibility of jail time, probation, and fines by the court. With that said, the kind of penalty the judge imposes on a person charged with stalking in Maryland depends on the allegations in the particular case. The Maryland judge will consider what took place, whether anyone was injured, whether their safety was in question, or whether this is little more than an annoyance or a nuisance against another party.
A Maryland stalking case involving an individual who is nothing more than an annoyance of a nuisance obviously yields less serious consequences. In addition to that evaluation, a judge also evaluates the criminal history a person has when he or she is charged with stalking. This could have a great impact on their sentence as they could be deemed a danger to the claimant.
When someone who has respect for the laws in Maryland is charged with stalking, they might not face any jail time. This is true if the offense is non-violent as opposed to an individual with a history of violence or criminal activity, particularly a history against the person who is making the stalking allegations. Individuals with a history of violence and criminal activity might face much more serious consequences.
Depending on the circumstances, a stalking charge can be expunged if the judge grants the individual a disposition called “probation before judgment” (PBJ). An allotted period of time must pass in which the individual does not have any additional criminal charges on their record. This gives permission to the court in Maryland to have the matter expunged from the individual’s record after a period of time. That period of time, depending on which court hears the case, can be up to five years. It depends on how the judge passed down the individual’s sentence, whether the matter is eligible for expungement after the judge gives the person a PBJ and in what time frame.