Stalking is distinct from other criminal acts in that it involves a pattern of behavior rather than a single incident. Stalking is the repeated and aggressive pursuit of a single individual. Those are the kinds of behaviors that’d make a regular human worry for their own or others’ security, which leads to charges for stalking.
It can be challenging to determine whether a given behavior constitutes stalking because many of the discrete acts that make up a more prominent allegation of Stalking are, themselves, legal. Stalking is defined differently and often with additional conditions in each country. For stalking to be illegal in some areas, the alleged offender must carry it out.
What Is a Stalking Charge?
Both felonies and misdemeanors exist for the crime of Stalking. Authorities will look at the circumstances and the defendant’s stalker charge record to decide to prosecute haunting as a felony. When prosecuting someone for Stalking, state will typically pile on accusations of threats and violence, illegal harassing phone conversations, cyber use, damage, robbery, vulgar or menacing texts and calls.
Misdemeanor Stalking Charge
When there are no extenuating circumstances, a first-time perpetrator of a stalker will probably be prosecuted with a felony. A year in prison, a fine, therapy, casual parole, and a protection order are all possible outcomes of a judgment for felony harassment. Infractions of up to $1,000 are sometimes imposed for the felony crime of Stalking.
Felony Stalking Charge
Even without mitigating circumstances, lawbreakers, such as those who repeatedly follow the same prey, would be convicted of a felony. Stalking is considered a severe crime that can result in a prison sentence of up to five years in several states.
A state jail sentence of up to ten years is possible for those convicted of stalking who have committed a felony act of domestic abuse or illegal intimidation. It’s possible that in addition to the sexual predator registry, a court could issue a ten-year temporary injunction.
If the Stalking occurred in breach of a preliminary injunction, involved same complainant as in a felony record, or made active threats of significant violent acts, offense might be upgraded to felony. Punishments for a felony conviction may reach $10,000.
See Also: Disturbing The Peace Charges
Possible Defenses for Stalking
One possible defense strategy involves denying the allegations made against you. A plaintiff typically reaches out to authorities and their support system multiple times before a perpetrator is convicted of stalking.
A sufferer using one of these websites will likely be advised to keep meticulous records of their communications, photograph their pursuers, and print down each text they get. Your defense lawyer could dismiss your case for insufficient evidence if the prosecution cannot produce such documents.
Even if the authorities and prosecutors have credible proof of guilt, your trial lawyer will likely raise questions about the more nebulous aspects of the case. Such as whether the complainant was terrified of you, whether their fear was warranted, and whether you intended to make them frightened.
- You can argue your way out of a stalking prosecution under Section 35(1) of the Act by pointing out the following:
That defendant was unaware and was not irresponsible regarding whether the following would be likely to result in injury to the individual followed or anyone else, or anxiety or dread of injury in the persons stalked, or harassment of the person stalked; or that the suspect’s actions were justified by their job responsibilities and did not violate any laws.
Final Words On Charges For Stalking
Lawyers can assist you if you’re a sufferer and are required to take precautions or if you are a victim of accusations of following or intimidation. If you’ve been charged with Stalking, you should hire a lawyer right once to protect your rights and interests. A conviction for one of these offenses carries the immediate consequences of imprisonment or jail time and penalties and the much longer-lasting consequences of a permanent criminal record.
There is a risk to your career, connections, and survival. Defense attorneys realize that accusations of Stalking or harassment may stem from a misunderstanding or be motivated by the accuser’s vindictiveness. Your lawyer will investigate your situation and fight for the most favorable outcome.
Also Check: Fake ID Charges
Is it possible to be found guilty of Stalking even if no physical harm was done?
Even if you don’t cause any actual damage to the victim or their property, you can still be charged with and convicted of Stalking. When one’s actions make another person feel unsafe or harassed, we call that Stalking. There’s no need even to be hurt. Furthermore, threats can be either direct (such as a text message or voicemail stating that the sender intends to harm the recipient) or indirect. Follow-up attempts to intimidate a person or damage their property are examples of implicit threats.
What are some common examples of Stalking?
Stalking typically consists of repeated harassment or threats, such as the following someone, showing up at their place of employment, or vandalizing their property.
Can you go to jail for stalking charges?
The severity of the offense and the amount of damage done are considered while determining sentences. The offender’s culpability might be defined as the degree to which they bear responsibility for the harassing or stalking conduct. The victim’s anguish from the harassment or Stalking serves as a proxy for the harm. For example, the victim may have had to make significant adjustments to their way of life.
What kind of protections are available to people who have been the target of Stalking?
Upon a conviction for Stalking, a restraining order may be issued prohibiting the offender from approaching the victim within a certain distance or contacting them in any way. This can be done in several ways, including online and through personal connections. A restraining order’s repercussions aren’t limited to the people involved. The offender may be restricted regarding where they can legally reside and find gainful employment.
Hi, I’m Brian Gary; I have my Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) degree from SMU Dedman School of Law in Dallas. Over the years, I have dealt with many families and successful corporate Legal cases. I have counseled many people on legal matters, and along with my profession, I write about Law on my blog. Please feel free to contact me for counseling/case discussion; I’ll be happy to help you.