When a Defendant is accused of criminal stalking, it critical for them to have a clear understanding of what a stalking really means in a legal sense. Today, the word stalking is used very commonly in a casual way, sometimes it is even used as a term of endearment or in compliment to someone and their work specifically online or on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, etc. It is important to know what being charged with stalking entails and how it is defined in the defendant’s state in order to have a successful trial in court.
Laws pertaining to stalking are moderately recent in all of the states. However, each state has different laws and penalties for criminal stalking offenses. Due to the recent upsurge in technology, access to stalking has become much easier and extremely common. Criminal stalking allegations are based off of the actions of the defendant towards another person. These actions are most often repeated and typically include patterns of appearances or other behaviors in which the Defendant intentionally scares or threatens the second party. A criminal stalker is suspect of routinely threatening, following, or harassing someone they may or may not personally know. In order to be charged with a s criminal stalking allegation, the alleged stalker must have put the second party in grave concern for their own or someone else’s safety or life. Irrespective of whether or not the Defendant had a relationship in the past with persecutor, they still can be taken to court for stalking. Having a previous relationship between the defendant and persecutor is very common but not always the circumstance.
A criminal stalker in most states is someone who purposely, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person and who also attempts to produce a hypothetical threat with the intent to emotionally disrupt that person and to spark any sense of rational terror for their health, privacy, or safety or the health, privacy, or safety of their immediate family. An example of a case is if the Defendant spends hours a week pestering an ex-girlfriend despite her pleas for him to stop. The Defendant follows her from her home to her work, and sends her many threatening and menacing texts and emails. He calls her at peculiar times including in the middle of the night. Stalking is not a one-time incident. In order to be prosecuted for stalking there must be proof the Defendant agitated the persecutor repetitively or persistently.
The state of Arizona, defines stalking as knowledgeably engaging in a course of behavior that is concentrated toward a specific person, with the defendant intentionally or knowingly causing the second party to: endure emotional suffering or tremendous anxiety that their things and property will be damaged or ruined, that they or someone else could be injured physically, reasonable dread for fatality of another person, or any form of “Emotional distress,” or in other words a mental torment or distress that may in some cases require specific care or therapy.
In today’s culture, stalking is most commonly discussed through the eyes of celebrities and their paparazzi or through the lens of social media. The term stalking has taken on a different connotation in recent years which has desensitized it. You may have even said or heard the term stalking thrown around in daily banter. However, criminal stalking cases are much more serious and have much deeper meaning.
Many stalking cases involve people who know each other, or people once in close relationships commonly seen among separated couples, or a stalker may be following a romantic interest. For this reason, stalking charges are often correlated with other separate law suits commonly with domestic violence cases. In some domestic violence cases one person has threatened violence against the other with the intent of getting the persons attention. Typically, if a domestic violence case is filed, an order of protection is issued for the persecutor so that it is well-defined that person is very scared.
When a Defendant is accused of stalking someone, they might be subject to the standings and legal obligations of a protective order. A protective order is also called an order of protection or restraining order. These orders by judges requires the Defendant, to stay a quantified expanse away from the victim for an exact period of time. There are numerous penalizations for a committing a stalking crime. There are also legal penalties for violating a protective order or restraining order. All charges will depend on the state where the suspected corruptions happened. The consequences for violating a protective order may involve time in jail depending on the state’s laws.
In the united states criminal stalking is taken very seriously by all states. Every state defines and punishes stalking differently. When the defendant is investigated or charged with a stalking crime that threatens them, they should contact their criminal defense attorney as soon as they can.