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How Do The Courts Determine “Legitimate Purpose” In Stalking Cases?

“Legitimate purpose” in a stalking case hinges on a number of factors specific to the circumstances of your case, so there’s no one answer to your question.

The law requires that prosecutors prove that you engaged in a course of conduct that was intentional, without a legitimate purpose, and was directed at an individual, and that your conduct caused fear or mental or emotional harm to the individual.

The phrase “course of conduct” indicates a pattern of behavior, rather than a sole event. One goal that we have as criminal defense attorneys is to closely examine the alleged incidents that are used to support a stalking charge.

If we can show that particular instances in the complaint had legitimate purposes – whether the alleged victim knew it or not – we reduce the strength of the prosecution’s argument.

The court ultimately determines legitimate purpose by hearing both sides and evaluating the evidence before it.

The defense attorneys at Zelenitz, Shapiro & D’Agostino know how to tell your story to the court, and how to cast doubt on the complaint against you.

Call us today at 718-599-1111 for a free consultation.