What is Stalking?
To be guilty of stalking, you must meet the following 3 elements, and the Prosecutor must prove the following 3 elements.
First, a person has to knowingly engage in a course of conduct. This means the person charged has to do something.
Second, this course of conduct has to be directed to a specific person.
Third, the person (that is being charged with stalking) has to know or should know his or her actions would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety, or for the safety of a third person. Furthermore, if the person who claims to be the “victim” suffers emotional distress.
Additionally, stalking includes following someone on two separate occasions, and either threatening harm or giving the individual who claims to be followed a reasonable apprehension of being placed in harm.
How to Win a Stalking Case:
The prosecutor has to probe its case “beyond a reasonable doubt” if you are charged with stalking. This is a very high standard. The State will have a difficult time proving that a defendant “knowingly engaged in a course of conduct.” Further, the “specific person” element will also be a difficult point to prove. Finally, the “reasonable person to fear…” is perhaps the most difficult. This is not to say the State cannot prove a case under certain facts. However, these three elements are subject to argument and cross-examination.
What Is the Punishment for Stalking?
Class 4 felony. However, a second or subsequent conviction has the charge being a Class 3 felony. Therefore, if a jail sentence is going to be imposed on a first offense, the judge can sentence you to either probation of up to 30 months or jail. However, if the judge issues a jail sentence it will between 1 to 3 years in jail.
What happens if I have a prior conviction for Stalking?
The offense will be considered a Class 3 felony (rather than a Class 4). This means a person can be punishable by 2 to 5 years imprisonment or up to 30 months of probation.
Attorney Young offers a free, no-obligation consultation by either telephone or in-person. The matters discussed during this free consultation are held in strict confidence. To contact Attorney Young call (708) 410-0090.
The Statute pertaining to this offense is located HERE.