Criminal Stalking Charges – What The Law Says

pexels faisal rahman 3820281The act of stalking an individual is criminal in each and every state in America. By repeatedly and intentionally following after an individual in order to harass them and cause them harm, you are committing the offense of stalking. Even if you are romantically involved with the person, you can still be classed as a stalker and prosecuted by the law if you are exhibiting these types of behaviors – although depending on the specifics, it may also be classed as a domestic violence crime instead. Where charges for this have been brought against you, you may want to look into hiring a specialist Domestic Violence Charges Lawyer NRS 200.485 to represent your case.

However, it is important to be aware that the exact definition of what constitutes as stalking does in fact vary depending on what state you are based in. For instance, some of them add the behaviors of ignoring the police, performing surveillance, and being in wait of an individual as an act of stalking also. 

Where stalking statutes are combined with protective orders, such as criminal or civil injunctions, then they can act as a vital piece of protection for an individual from some or all of the behaviors mentioned above.

The Fundamentals Of The Law

In order for any enhanced penalties to stick in some certain states, there are a number of requirements that must first persist. For instance, stalking crimes that are enhanced, are referred to as either second or first degree, depending on their severity. Where the victim of the stalking is particularly young or if the stalker had gone against a court order, then there is likely to be enhancements.

An example of a state where there is a general stalker statute which identifies the various situations where the law is acted upon is Minnesota. As part of the law here, a stalker only needs to harass an individual or give an intent to injure someone in order to be found guilty of the act.

The Practicalities

The reason why stalking is so terrifying for the victim is because they have no idea on whether or not the stalker actually has any intent on fulfilling the threats that they are making. Although at the start most victims are annoyed by the behaviors of a stalker, this can and often does soon change to s feeling of being scared for their safety and that of their loved ones.

However, where an incident happens in person between a stalker and their victim, this can be difficult to prove if there is no video evidence of the incident. Where they make contact via some means of communications, such as via letter or email, then the fact that there is a paper trail to follow, makes it much easier to prove that stalking is happening.

But when the stalker is someone that the victim actually knows, such as a past lover, then they are often much more reluctant to file a complaint to the police in the first place, never mind submitting evidence as well.