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Stalking


Stalking

Stalking is a pattern of behavior designed to cause fear and intimidation in the victim. Stalking may arise after ending a troubled relationship, or may develop without warning. Not all perpetrators are male and not all victims are female. Stalking may be perpetrated by a former spouse or romantic partner, an acquaintance or even a stranger. The majority of stalking cases end without violence, but some have turned deadly.

Definition of Stalking

Each state has set its own legal definition of stalking. In general, stalking may include such behaviors as unwanted communication; harassment and threats; appearing at the victim's workplace or school; following the victim; and perhaps vandalism, harming pets or other threatening behavior. Some states have recently expanded stalking definitions to include "cyber stalking," in which email, instant messengers and chat rooms are used to perpetrate stalking behaviors.

It is generally necessary to establish a pattern of behavior in order to establish the crime of stalking. However, in many states as few as two instances are sufficient. Some states categorize stalking as a misdemeanor, others as a felony. Some use a sliding scale, with first or second offenses treated as misdemeanors and subsequent events as felonies.

Types of Stalkers

Stalkers are usually grouped into three categories: intimate partner stalkers, erotomania stalkers, and vengeful stalkers.

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Stalking - Selected State Laws

IllinoisIllinois Compiled Statutes > 740 ILCS 21 - Stalking No Contact Order Act
KansasKansas Statutes > Chapter 60 > Article 31a - Protection From Stalking Act
New MexicoNew Mexico Statutes Chapter 30 > Article 3A - Harassment and Stalking
Rhode IslandRhode Island General Laws > Chapter 11-59. Stalking
South DakotaSouth Dakota Laws > Title 22 > Chapter 19A - Stalking
TexasTexas Civil Practice and Remedies Code > Title 4 > Chapter 85 - Liability for Stalking
UtahUtah Code > Title 77 > Chapter 3 - Stalking Injunctions
VirginiaVirginia Code Title 19.2 > Chapter 9.1 - Protective Orders

 

Questions & Answers: Stalking

My son was arrested on March 18 for stalking and improper use of telecommunications. He is still in jail because bond has been set at $50,000.00. He came home one night and found...
Cheryl, A criminal defense attorney may be able to get the amount of the required bond reduced by asking for a rehearing. At the rehearing, your son's attorney can present evidence...
 
The Dickerson & Smith Law Group
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The Dickerson & Smith Law Group

115 S. Lynnhaven Road, Suite 100
Virginia Beach, Virginia 23452
Practice Areas: Criminal Law
www.daviddickerson.com/
Gabriel & Associates, PC
Virgina Beach, VA Family law attorneys

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