Stalking Laws in North Carolina


Stalking is a crime that is taken seriously in North Carolina. If you have been charged with this criminal offense, you will need the help of a skilled lawyer to help put together a strong defense. Facing charges like these can be scary and disorienting. They have the ability to derail your future, and they can mar your reputation for years to come. In North Carolina, stalking is a class A1 misdemeanor, which places it in the same category as assault inflicting serious injury and assault with a deadly weapon. If you already have a stalking conviction on your record, subsequent stalking charges are a class F felony, which can come with steep fines and jail time upon conviction, not to mention the impact they will have on your social relationships, financial future, career, and housing prospects. If you are facing criminal charges for stalking, contact a Charlotte criminal defense lawyer.

Stalking is a Violent Crime, Even When it Does Not Involve Physical Contact. North Carolina law defines stalking as following, observing, monitoring, or communicating with a person while aware that your doing so will cause them emotional distress. Stalking can include repeated incidents of harassment and intimidating behavior, even if they do not include overt threats of physical harm. Stalking often occurs in the context of domestic violence; in most criminal cases involving stalking, the defendant is the estranged spouse or former romantic partner of the victim. Therefore, the law treats stalking as an early stage of domestic violence and imposes penalties accordingly.

What kinds of communications counts as stalking? You have probably seen scary movies where a stalker physically follows a victim or figures out where a victim will be in order to plan an attack. Today, there are so many ways to stay in contact, and it is easy to imagine how all of them can turn ugly. Just as schoolyard bullies can now continue their bullying on What’s App, and Internet trolls spread ugly rumors on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tik Tok, stalking can take place through any means of communication.

For example, if you continuously contact your ex in person, or by phone, text message, email, or social media message, you could be charged with stalking. You can even get charged with stalking if you are not the one who placed the phone call, sent the text message, or posted the images on Facebook. If you instruct a third party to communicate to or about the victim in order to cause the victim to feel fear or distress, this is enough to result in stalking charges, and those charges can land you in jail.

Alcohol Education And Treatment Programs


In general, a North Carolina resident who is convicted of a DWI is required to get a substance use assessment and successfully complete a substance abuse education program or a treatment program. However, there are different types and levels of education programs and treatment programs available, though the program a defendant may be required to complete depends on a variety of factors.

The factors that can determine what type of program will be required includes whether or not the defendant has prior DWI convictions, if another person was seriously injured or killed during the drunk driving incident and whether or not the defendant has already participated in a similar program. Additionally, those who have a blood alcohol content of more than .14 percent will be automatically referred to treatment.

Depending on the case factors, the length of treatment can vary. For example, first-time offenders and minors may complete an education program that is shorter in duration than those who have multiple DWI convictions or who had a high BAC when they were taken into custody. In some cases, a multiple offender could be required to complete a 30-month long program that may begin with mandatory weekly attendance that gradually changes to every other week.

When a person is taken into custody on drunk driving charges, he or she will have both a DMV hearing and a criminal trial. The outcome of both the hearing and the trial itself can have an impact on the person’s ability to earn an income and go about his or her daily life. Because the processes can be intimidating, a criminal law attorney could assist with mounting a strong defense against a DWI charge by challenging the traffic stop or demonstrating that the breath test was not properly conducted.

Misunderstood Terms in Criminal Law



Commonly Misunderstood Terms in North Carolina Criminal Law

In the court of public opinion, there are only two kinds of crime, namely violent crime and nonviolent crime, and violent crime is always bad. Even as public support increases for pretrial diversion programs and other ways of reducing mass incarceration, a lot of people will qualify their statements with “only for nonviolent offenses.” Therefore, if you are being accused of assault, domestic violence, or any other crime related to physical violence, you might feel like you have no one on your side. In fact, all defendants in criminal cases, no matter the seriousness of the crime of which they are accused, have legal rights, including the right to representation by a lawyer. If you are facing charges for a violent crime, contact a Charlotte criminal defense attorney.

Assault and Battery are Not Interchangeable

There are a lot of things that most people do not understand about criminal law until they get charged with a crime, including the differences between some closely related offenses. There are many incidents in which a defendant gets charged with assault and also with battery, but the terms “assault” and “battery” are not the same. Assault is any action that causes the victim to feel a reasonable fear of imminent physical harm, such as brandishing your fist in front of the victim’s face. You can be convicted of assault even if you do not make physical contact with the victim. Battery is any hostile touching of another person, such as punching or slapping, whether it causes a visible injury or not.

Murder, Manslaughter, and Homicide

According to North Carolina law, murder and homicide are the same. These terms mean that the defendant intentionally killed the victim; the degrees of homicide depend on how premeditated the killing was. Manslaughter is when the victim died as a result of the defendant’s actions, but the defendant did not intend to kill the victim. It is voluntary manslaughter if the defendant intended to injure the victim but did not think that the victim would die, such as if the defendant and the victim got into a fistfight and the victim died of their injuries. Involuntary manslaughter is if the defendant caused an accident in which the victim suffered fatal injuries.


Not All Violent Crimes are Felonies

Another common misconception about violent crimes is that they are all felonies. In fact, it is possible to get misdemeanor charges for assault or battery if the victim does not sustain serious injuries. The chances that the prosecutors will treat your assault or battery charges as misdemeanors are greater if the victim was not seriously injured and if there were no weapons involved.

Another common misconception about violent crimes is that they are all felonies. In fact, it is possible to get misdemeanor charges for assault or battery if the victim does not sustain serious injuries. The chances that the prosecutors will treat your assault or battery charges as misdemeanors are greater if the victim was not seriously injured and if there were no weapons involved.