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Stalking

The penalties in Colorado for a first offense of stalking can include:

  • one to four years in prison; and/or
  • a fine of $1,000-$100,000.

The penalties can be increased for a second or subsequent offense or if the stalking violated a protective order including:

  • two to eight years in prison; and/or
  • a fine of $2,000-$500,000.

In addition to stalking, the prosecutor might file charges for a separate misdemeanor for violating a civil protective order. If you are convicted of both stalking and violation of the protective order, then the sentence can be run consecutively.

Crimes for stalking in Colorado can be charged as a felony and an “extraordinary risk” crime.

Stalking Defense Attorney in Denver, CO

If you were accused of stalking with a credible threat and conduct, credible threat and repeated communication, or serious emotional distress, then contact attorney Matthew Martin in Denver, CO. Matthew Martin represents clients charged with stalking throughout the state of Colorado, including the city of Denver, and the surrounding areas in the Front Range region including:

    • Brighton in Adams County
    • Centennial and Littleton in Arapahoe County
    • Boulder and Longmont in Boulder County
    • Broomfield in Broomfield County
    • Castle Rock in Douglas County
    • Golden in Jefferson County

During the initial consultation, you can learn more about the charge of stalking or violating an order of protection, possible defenses, and the best way to fight the accusation. Call (303) 725-0017 to set up your first consultation for free.

Information Center:


Stalking with a Credible Threat and Conduct

According to the standard jury instruction in Chapter 3-6:01, the elements of the crime of stalking (credible threat and conduct) under § 18-3-602(1)(a), C.R.S., require proof that the defendant:

  1. made a credible threat to another person, either directly, or indirectly through a third person; and
  2. in connection with the threat, repeatedly followed, approached, contacted, or placed under surveillance that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person was having or previously had a continuing relationship.

For purposes of Colorado’s stalking statute, the term “credible threat” is defined in Instruction F:77

The term “conduct ‘in connection with’ a credible threat” is defined in Instruction F:67.


Stalking with a Credible Threat and Repeated Communication

According to the standard jury instruction in Chapter 3-6:01, the elements of the crime of stalking (credible threat and conduct) under § 18-3-602(1)(b), C.R.S., require proof that the defendant:

  1. made a credible threat to another person, either directly, or indirectly through a third person; and
  2. in connection with the threat, repeatedly made any form of communication with that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person was having or previously had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation ensued.

Stalking with Serious Emotion Distress

According to the standard jury instruction in Chapter 3-6:03, the elements of the crime of stalking with serious emotional distress under § 18-3-602(1)(c), C.R.S., require proof that the defendant:

  1. knowingly repeatedly followed, approached, contacted, placed under surveillance, or made any form of communication with another person, either directly, or indirectly through a third person;
  2. in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress; and
  3. which did cause that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person was having or previously had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional distress.

Although Section 18-3-602 does not define the term “serious emotional distress,” the court in People v. Yascavage, 80 P.3d 899, 901 (Colo. App. 2003) held that the provision defining stalking, then codified as section 18-9-111(4)(b)(III), “prohibits contact that inflicts ‘serious emotional distress’ and provides an objective ‘reasonable person’ standard to measure whether the emotional distress inflicted upon the victim was ‘serious’”), aff’d on other grounds, 101 P.3d 1090 (Colo. 2004).

In People v. Cross, 127 P.3d 71, 77 (Colo. 2006), the court held that the mens rea of “knowingly” for stalking—then codified as section 18-9-111(4)(a)—does “not apply to require that a perpetrator be aware that his or her acts would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress.”

In stalking cases involving an allegation of serious emotional distress, the prosecutor might request the following special jury instruction found in Chater 3-6:04.SP, which provides:

For purposes of the crime of stalking (serious emotional distress), the prosecution need not show that a person received professional treatment or counseling to prove that he [she] suffered serious emotional distress.


Stalking with Interrogatory (Violation of Order or Condition)

According to the standard jury instruction in Chapter 3-6:05.INT, under § 18-3-602(5), C.R.S., the jury will be told that if they find the defendant guilty of stalking, they should indicate whether the stalking in violation of an existing order.

The jury instruction explains that the stalking was in violation of an existing order only if:

  1. a temporary or permanent protection order, injunction, or condition of bond, probation, or parole, or any other court order had issued against the defendant; and
  2. that temporary or permanent protection order, injunction, or condition of bond, probation, or parole, or any other court order was in effect at the time the defendant committed the stalking offense of which you found him [her] guilty; and
  3. that temporary or permanent protection order, injunction, or condition of bond, probation, or parole, or any other court order prohibited [insert description of behavior constituting stalking.

Additional Resources

What is Stalking? | RAINN – Visit the official website for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) to learn more about stalking. Access the site to learn what technology is often associated with stalking, common reasons for being talked, and tips on what to do if you’re a victim of stalking.

Stalking Laws in Colorado | CRS – Visit the official website for the Colorado Revised Statutes to learn more about their laws pertaining to stalking. Access the site to view more about the elements of stalking, possible penalties, and admissible defenses.


Denver Stalking Attorney | Colorado Stalking and Harassment Lawyer

Have you been accused of stalking or harassment? If so, it’s within your best interest to contact Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C.. Criminal defense lawyer Matthew Martin has spent hundreds of hours defending clients accused of stalking and other violent crimes. His decades of experience, passion for his work, and perseverance can be your greatest assets in the courtroom.

Call (303) 725-0017 now to set up your first consultation with Law Office of Matthew A. Martin, P.C..