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Tag: What is considered stalking by law

when were stalking laws created

when were stalking laws created插图

1990

What states have stalking laws?

Stalking is a crime in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., the U.S. Territories, and the Federal Government. Each year, January is recognized as National Stalking Awareness Month in an effort to educate the public about serious—and at times deadly—crime of stalking. The following resources provide information on stalking. Recent Publications

What is the law against stalking?

The Interstate Stalking Act, signed into law by President Clinton in 1996, makes it a crime for any person to travel across state lines with the intent to injure or harass another person and, in the course thereof, places that person or a member of that person’s family in a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. See 18 U.S.C. 2261A.

What is considered stalking by law?

Under U.S. federal law, someone commits the felony of stalking if that person: places another person in reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury to him- or herself, his or her immediate family member, or spouse or intimate partner.

What is the penalty for stalking?

The penalty range for a first time stalking offense is from two to ten years in prison. If someone has been previously convicted of stalking the punishment range is two to twenty years. Stalking requires two or more acts directed at a person including but not limited to following another person.

What is stalking in California?

Heilman (1994), the court defined the term “repeatedly” as meaning “on more than one occasion.” “Harassment” was defined in that case as “multiple acts, over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose.” “Harasses” is defined in Penal Code Section 646.9 (e) as, “a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, torments or terrorizes the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose. This course of conduct must be such that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to such person.”

What is the requirement for stalking?

The requirement that the victim be placed in “reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of their immediate family” is now sufficient to establish the crime of stalking. At trial and preliminary hearing, the element of substantial emotional distress has been established through actions taken by the victim, such as hiring personal security and/or executive protection, informing people at work and neighbors about the threat, learning self-defense, changing his or her daily routine, adding additional security measures around the home and at work, avoiding public appearances, changing their phone number, email address, or even relocating. As part of an investigation, the victim and/or client is asked to recount what their daily routine was like prior to the stalking and what it is like now in comparison.

How long is a stalker’s restraining order valid?

Other provisions, of Penal Code Section 646.9 provide that the sentencing court may issue a restraining order valid for up to 10 years, require that the stalker participate in counseling, and, in certain cases, order the stalker to register as a sex offender.

How long can you go to jail for stalking?

Under California’s current law, a first-time conviction can now be filed as a felony with a maximum prison term of up to three years, even if there is no restraining order in effect. If there is a restraining order or any other court order in effect during the period of stalking, the defendant can be sentenced to state prison up to four years. If the defendant is convicted of stalking and has suffered a prior felony conviction of stalking (PC 646.9), Criminal Threat (PC 422), Domestic Violence with Injury (PC 273.5) or violation of a Domestic Violence Court Order (PC 273.6), the prison term is a maximum of five years in state prison.

Why was emotional distress eliminated?

In 2002, the term “substantial emotional distress” was eliminated from the statute in order to overturn a bizarre court case, People v Ewing, in which the court held that substantial emotional distress was not shown because the victim did not seek out mental health treatment or medication.

What does "following or harassing" mean?

The person following or harassing made a credible threat; and. The person who made the threat did so with the specific intent to place the other person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of the immediate family of such person (s).

When did California law stop stalking?

Between 1991 and 1993, California’s stalking law required that a stalker make a “credible threat of death or great bodily injury” toward the victim, placing the victim in reasonable fear of the same. Neither Saldana nor Schaeffer were aware of the threats being made against them by their stalkers. Even if they had known, …

What are the different types of stalkers?

For example, one classification scheme identified three categories: erotomaniacs (who had no contact with yet believed they were loved by their famous victims); love obsessionals (similar to erotomaniacs but also suffering from some sort of psychosis); and simple obsessionals (who had had prior contact with their victims). Another classification distinguished between rejected stalkers (who harass an ex-partner who tries to end a relationship), resentful stalkers (who try to frighten someone they believe has harmed them), intimacy seekers and incompetent suitors (who continue trying to establish relationships with individuals who indicate that they are not interested), and predatory stalkers (whose stalking usually prepares the way for some sort of sexual assault).

What is stalking crime?

Stalking, the crime of following another person against his or her wishes and harassing that person. The status of stalking as a criminal offense is relatively new, having emerged in the early 1990s, although the behaviours that characterize stalking are not.

How does stalking work?

In most cases stalking must be identified and defined as such by the victim. That process involves interpretation, in which ambiguity is resolved through the application of the label “stalking.” For example, relational stalking begins as a new or developing relationship. Most new relationships involve an individual who seeks out further contact with another person, who tries to learn more about that person, and who acts to gain the other’s attention and approval. Unless individuals make efforts of that sort, it is difficult for new relationships to develop. On the other hand, building new relationships requires that there be reciprocation: the other person agrees to further contact, shares information, and indicates an interest in developing the relationship. Although every gesture need not meet with a positive response, most new relationships involve a pattern of gradually increasing sharing, of mutual efforts at relationship building. Still, that process may involve considerable ambiguity, with individuals asking themselves what the other wants and what the other’s actions might mean. When individuals try to signal to the other that they are not interested in developing a relationship, their signals may be misread or ignored. When one’s signals no longer seem to work, and the other continues to persist in what now seem to be inappropriate actions, the relationship becomes troubling. What was initially ambiguous or confusing behaviour is now redefined; in such cases people label themselves as victims of stalking.

What happens when you try to signal to the other that you are not interested in developing a relationship?

When individuals try to signal to the other that they are not interested in developing a relationship, their signals may be misread or ignored. When one’s signals no longer seem to work, and the other continues to persist in what now seem to be inappropriate actions, the relationship becomes troubling.

Is star stalking a crime in California?

Several of those cases involved the harassment of celebrities in California, and the entertainment industry began to press for criminal penalties for star stalking in that state. Activists in the movement against domestic violence soon linked their cause to the concern over star stalking.

How is Stalking Punished?

A person convicted of stalking under federal law faces a possible prison sentence not to exceed five years, a fine not to exceed $250,000, or both. (18 USC § § 2261, 3571.) Where the defendant’s stalking conduct results in the death of or physical injury to another person, a conviction may lead to a sentence of up to life in prison.

What is Martindale Nolo?

Nolo is a part of the Martindale Nolo network, which has been matching clients with attorneys for 100+ years.

How to prove intent to stalk a person?

Often, intent is proven by introducing the defendant’s own threatening voicemail messages, emails, texts, and/or Facebook page postings.

What is harassment in court?

Courts have defined harassment as it is commonly understood: repeated words, conduct, or action that serve no legitimate purpose and are directed at a specific person to annoy, alarm, or distress that person.

How long can you go to jail for stalking?

A person convicted of stalking under federal law faces a possible prison sentence not to exceed five years, a fine not to exceed $250,000, or both. (18 USC § § 2261, 3571.) Where the defendant’s stalking conduct results in the death of or physical injury to another person, a conviction may lead to a sentence of up to life in prison.

What is the federal law against stalking?

postal service. The federal anti-stalking law expressly includes the use of an electronic communications system as a means of violating the federal anti- stalking law .

How to violate anti-stalking laws?

In order to violate the federal, as opposed to a state, anti-stalking law, a person must either travel across state lines, into or out of tribal land, or engage in interstate commerce in the commission of the crime. Most people charged with the federal crime of stalking have engaged in interstate commerce by simply using a telephone, the Internet, or the U.S. postal service. The federal anti-stalking law expressly includes the use of an electronic communications system as a means of violating the federal anti-stalking law.

Why is stalking a crime?

Stalking is a particularly terrifying crime because it is unclear if the stalker plans to escalate the harassment to actual physical violence or will simply continue to be a presence. Most victims are not only annoyed by what appears to be unwelcome attention, but worry that they will soon be exposed to far more unwelcome advances.

What is stalking in law?

It is generally defined as the intentional, repeated following of a person for the purpose of harassing the person with express or implied threats of violence or death. Even if the stalker claims romantic or equivalent interest, that is generally considered sufficient harassment to invoke the protection of the law.

What happens if you get an injunction against a stalker?

It should be noted that by obtaining an injunctive or protective order, the punishment of the stalker is radically increased. Often victims will not only complain to the police, but will hire private counsel to seek such an injunction, and with that added protection, will be able to impose severe penalties if the harassment does not halt.

What does it mean when you have a felony on your record?

A felony on your record is a permanent event that can radically alter one’s future. And months or years in jail or prison destroys lives and livelihoods. Today, when email is pervasive, much of the stalking is done electronically.

What happens if you are accused of stalking?

If you are a person accused of stalking, and it is an error, it is vital to obtain good legal counsel to explain to the court precisely how this error could occur and to perhaps arrange an agreed upon resolution. A felony on your record is a permanent event that can radically alter one’s future.

Can stalking disappear?

Many victims, especially ones who are confronted with a former romantic partner, are reluctant to involve the police or the courts, hoping that the stalking will disappear once the stalker “calms down.” That certainly can happen, but it should be remembered that the bulk of serious crimes are committed not against strangers, but against people known to the perpetrator. Stalking is not “usual” conduct, even for a jilted lover. It is demonstration of serious mental issues and the counseling requirements imposed by the Court may actually be helpful for the stalker.

What is the definition of "willfully"?

Defined As#N#Willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or harasses another and makes credible threat with intent to place another in reasonable fear for own safety or safety of his/her immediate family. Penal Code Section 646.9 (a)

What are some examples of stalking?

Other examples of stalking include repeated phone calls of a threatening or harrassing manner; showing up at someone’s place of employment; or vandalizing someone’s property. Stalking is not limited to domestic relationships and can be committed by someone who is obsessed with a celebrity or other public figure.

How many states have official state codes?

Official State Codes – Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.

Is stalking a crime?

Stalking is not new, but state laws addressing it as a crime were introduced relatively recently. A pattern of malicious behavior, such as repeatedly parking outside of someone’s home with the intention of intimidating that person (after being told to stop), is considered stalking. Stalking laws are often invoked in the context of domestic violence or among otherwise estranged partners.

Can a person post a message to urge someone to commit a malicious behavior?

No person, through the use of any electronic method of remotely transferring information, including, but not limited to, any copmuter, computer network, computer program, or computer system, shall post a message with purpose to urge or incite another to commit a [pattern of malicious behavior, as described above].

Can a pattern of conduct cause physical harm to another person?

No person by engaging in a pattern of conduct shall knowingly cause another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to the other person or cause mental distress to the other person.

Why is Massachusetts’ stalking law unconstitutionally vague?

Massachusetts’s stalking law was also declared unconstitutionally vague because it provided that a person could be guilty of stalking if that person repeatedly harassed the victim. "Harass" was defined as a pattern of conduct or series of acts.

How is stalking law unconstitutional?

A statute is unconstitutionally overbroad when it inadvertently criminalizes legitimate behavior. In a Pennsylvania case, the defendant claimed the stalking statute was unconstitutional because it criminalized a substantial amount of constitutionally protected conduct. In that case, the defendant engaged in a campaign of intimidating behavior against a judge who had ruled against him in a landlord-tenant case. For nearly a year, the defendant made regular phone calls and distributed leaflets calling the judge "Judge Bimbo," "a cockroach," "a gangster," and "a mobster." During one of his many calls to the judge’s chambers, her secretary asked him if his intentions were "to alarm and disturb" the judge. The defendant replied, "I would hope that my calls alarm her. I am working very hard at it. If my calls are disturbing, wait until she sees what happens next." He also called and spoke about the bodyguard hired for the judge and the judge carrying a gun "to let [her] know that he’s watching and knows what is going on."

Why is the stalking statute unconstitutionally vague?

The Supreme Court of Kansas found that state’s stalking statute unconstitutionally vague because it used the terms "alarms," "annoys," and "harasses" without defining them or using an objective standard to measure the prohibited conduct.

What states have a stalking law?

A handful of states have narrow definitions of stalking. Illinois, for example, limits stalking to cases involving following or keeping a person under surveillance. 6 Maryland requires that the pattern of conduct include approaching or pursuing another person. 7 Hawaii is similar, limiting stalking to cases in which the stalker pursues the victim or conducts surveillance of the victim. 8 Connecticut limits stalking to following or lying in wait. 9 Wisconsin requires "maintaining a visual or physical proximity to a person." 10

How does the stalking statute meet the constitutional test?

The court found that the statute, as drafted, met the constitutional test by giving adequate warning to potential offenders of the prohibited conduct. "It indeed defies logic to conclude that a defendant would have to commit more than one series of harassing acts in order to be found guilty of stalking.".

What is unconsented contact in Michigan?

For example, Michigan’s stalking law provides that unconsented contact includes, but is not limited to, any of the following: Following or appearing within sight of that individual. Approaching or confronting that individual in a public place or on private property. Appearing at that individual’s workplace or residence.

What is prohibited behavior?

Prohibited Behavior. Most states have broad definitions of the type of repeated behavior that is prohibited, using terms such as "harassing," "communicating," and "nonconsensual contact.". In some states, specific descriptions of stalking behavior are included in the statute.