Private Investigations and Personal Security/stalking

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: my  socal worker made a stalking complaint about me to the police can they now bring me in on a warrent just to talk to me then let me go

ANSWER: Hi Dan-

I would need to know what state you live in to be able to comment on this question. The laws on stalking vary from state to state.

Usually when someone files a complaint, the police must investigate the allegations before they arrest someone. A warrant is something that can only be issued after an investigation of the facts. The police can question you but to "bring you in" they must first arrest you and that requires "probable cause" which generally means there must be information beyond just one person's complaint, unless there is physical evidence.

If you can give me a few more details about what happened, I can probably give you a better idea of whether or not you might be arrested.

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: i live in Connecticut

ANSWER: Here's the law on the subject. If you do what's described in here, you can be found guilty of stalking in the second degree.

The question would be, did you intend to create fear, did you follow or lie in wait for her, did you do it intentionally, did you do it repeatedly and was she afraid.

Let me know what the circumstances of the issue are and I can probably give you a better idea

THE LAW

6.7-2  Stalking in the Second Degree -- 53a-181d

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with stalking in the second degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows:

a person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when, with intent to cause another person to fear for (his/her) physical safety, (he/she) wilfully and repeatedly follows or lies in wait for such other person and causes such other person to reasonably fear for (his/her) physical safety.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

Element 1 - Intent
The first element is that the defendant specifically intended to cause <insert name of person> to fear for (his/her) physical safety.  "Fear for (his/her) physical safety" means that (he/she) feared that bodily harm could come to (him/her).  A person acts "intentionally" with respect to a result when (his/her) conscious objective is to cause such result.  <See Intent: Specific, Instruction 2.3-1.>

Element 2 - Followed or lay in wait
The second element is that the defendant followed or lay in wait for <insert name of person>.  "Following" implies proximity in space as well as time.  Whether someone has deliberately maintained sufficient visual or physical proximity with another person, uninterrupted, over a substantial enough period of time to constitute "following" will depend upon a variety of differing factors in each case.1

Element 3 - Wilfullness
The third element is that the defendant acted wilfully.  To act "wilfully" means to act intentionally or deliberately.

Element 4 - Repeatedly
The fourth element is that the defendant acted repeatedly.  Acting "repeatedly" means acting on more than one occasion.  An isolated act of following or lying in wait cannot constitute stalking.2

Element 5 - Caused fear
The fifth element is that the defendant caused <insert name of person> to reasonably fear for (his/her) physical safety.  Determining whether this element is satisfied requires a two step process.  First, the situation and the facts must be viewed from the viewpoint of <insert name of person>.  Did (he/she) in fact fear for (his/her) physical safety?  If the answer to that question is no, you must find the defendant not guilty.  If the answer to that question is yes, you must then ask whether that fear was reasonable.  You must answer that question from the viewpoint of a reasonable person under the circumstances at the time.  You must ask yourself whether under all the circumstances then present, was the fear reasonable?3

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant intended to cause <insert name of person> to fear for (his/her) safety, 2) the defendant followed or lay in wait for <insert name of person>, 3) the defendant acted wilfully, 4) the defendant acted repeatedly, and 5) the defendant caused <insert name of person> to reasonably fear for (his/her) physical safety.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of stalking in the second degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
_______________________________________________________

1 State v. Marsala, 44 Conn. App. 84, 98, cert. denied, 240 Conn. 912 (1997).

2 State v. Jackson, 56 Conn. App. 264, 273, cert. denied, 242 Conn. 938 (2000); State v. Cummings, 46 Conn. App. 661, 679 n.13, cert. denied, 243 Conn. 940 (1997); see also State v. Russell, 101 Conn. App. 298, 317-18, cert. denied, 284 Conn. 910 (2007) (there is no time limitation on the time that may have elapsed between the acts).

3 State v. Cummings, supra, 46 Conn. App. 678 n.12.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: can the police just bring me in for questioning on this matter   if they do do they need a warrent ?
if i dont say anything then will they let me go?

Answer
The police can only "bring you in" if you are under arrest. The District Attorney would have to issue a complaint and then they can indeed, pick you up. The only other time the police can arrest you is if a) You admit to them that you did something or 2) They have "probable cause" to believe that the crime has been committed.

I will only say what any defense lawyer would say to you, "Don't open your mouth" Don't think you can talk your way out of it, or that if you just explain it the right way, they will let you go.

Good luck

Private Investigations and Personal Security

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Nichols (Nic) J. Smith

Expertise

I can answer almost any question with regards to the individual state laws concerning private investigators; best practices and procedures used in private investigations;how to determine if the agency or investigator you are contemplating using is sufficiently qualified to do the work and if an investigation was conducted in accordance with the standards of practice and care used in the professional investigative industry. I can also direct you with regards to doing your own research in certain situations, such as finding someone who owes you money. I can steer you through the database "minefield" with regards to which databases contain useful information and which don't. I can also advise regarding the kind of information that you can legally obtain and what's not legal.

Experience


Awards and Honors
Life Fellow- American College of Forensic Examiners

Past/Present Clients
Morgan Lewis and Brockius (Int'l Law firm) Sedgwick, Detert (Int'l Law Firm) Bingham McCutheon (Int'l Law Firm

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.