Stalking is a serious criminal offence contained in section 359 of the Queensland Criminal Code. It refers to a wide range of behaviours, including watching, following or approaching, contacting a person in any way, loitering, and other threatening, harassing or intimidating behaviours. It may be one or multiple acts, depending on the circumstances.
The penalties for stalking vary depending on the objective seriousness of each case. For instance, conduct that includes actual violence is often treated more seriously than conduct where that feature is absent. The penalties for stalking range from fines up to and including actual imprisonment in serious cases.
Often, stalking offences arise in the context of complex personal circumstances, such as the breakdown of a relationship, psychological distress or untreated mental illness. It is therefore critical that persons charged obtain early and specialist legal advice to ensure that their mitigating features are recognised and presented to the Court in a powerful and relevant way.
Rebecca Fogerty and Julia Jasper have acted for many clients charged with a wide range of stalking behaviours. We listen carefully and sensitively to your case and, where appropriate, try to utilise mediation or undertakings to resolve your matter without the cost and stress of drawn-out court proceedings. Where appropriate, we may involve experts such as forensic computer examiners and medical professionals to ensure that all strategic angles of your case have been investigated. We are highly regarded in legal circles for our skilled and persuasive advocacy.
Some of the successful outcomes we have achieved for clients charged with stalking include:
- Acquittal or verdict of not guilty after a trial;
- Downgrading of the charge to a lesser offence, including use of a carriage service to menace/harass/cause offence and/or breach of a domestic violence order;
- The withdrawal of the charge following successful negotiations with the prosecution; and
- Justice mediation leading to the charge being withdrawn.
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