Freedman Law Group Articles Stalking is a Crime

Stalking is a Crime

By The Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman  Jun. 17, 2011 4:18p

Stalking is a term which means willful and repeated watching, following, and/or harassing of another individual. Stalking consists of obsessive yet, unwanted attention. In other words, stalking behavior is not reciprocated. Stalking behaviors are connected with intimidation and harassment and are therefore, criminalized in each state. If you have been accused of staking, you should contact a Michigan criminal defense attorney without delay.

Stalkers can target virtually anyone. They can target celebrities, adults, children, and even complete strangers. However, in most cases, a stalker is someone who knows the victim. Stalkers typically stalk someone who they had a relationship with in the past. In order to deter stalking behaviors, criminal statutes have been established against harassment, assault as well as criminal threats.

Examples of Stalking Behaviors

Good old fashioned stalking still exists, however with the advent of computer technology, stalking has taken a whole new level. Stalking can include following a person by car or foot, watching them,repeated phone calls, harassing letters in the mail, repeated text messages, persistent instant messages, harassing e-mails, threats of physical harm, threats to harm one’s loved one’s or their pets, and constantly showing up at a person’s home or their place of employment.

Unlike other crimes where one criminal act took place, stalking involves repeated contact, harassment, or threats. Stalking behaviors pick up speed as they develop over time. They occur in a series of repeated actions until they come to the point where the victim fears for their safety and the safety of their family.

Stalking Statistics

According to a study, female stalkers often times target other women, whereas men usually stalk women exclusively. According to the Department of Justice, (67%) of female stalking victims were stalked by a male, rather than a female offender (24%). The U.S. Department of Justice reported in 2009 that: approximately (46%) of stalking victims experienced at least one unwanted contact per week. The highest risk category for stalking victims was those who were separated or divorced. 46% of the victims were in fear of not knowing what would happen next and, 3 in 4 stalking victims knew their offender.

In most cases stalking is charged as a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by to 1 year in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. However, in certain cases, stalking can be prosecuted as a felony offense, which could involve up to 5 years in prison and fines ranging up to $10,000. If you have been accused of stalking, you owe it to yourself to hire an experienced Michigan stalking defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Freedman & Freedman today!

Contact a Michigan stalking defense attorney from our firm for a free initial consultation.

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