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Basics of stalking charges in domestic violence cases

You may believe that if you are in a romantic relationship with another person that you cannot be charged with stalking that individual. You may similarly believe that if you are in a romantic relationship with another person that you cannot seek to have stalking charges brought against that individual. Each of these assumptions is untrue.

Whether you are being stalked and otherwise abused or whether you can be perceived as stalking another, it is important to understand that basics of stalking if you are on either end of a domestic violence case. Especially if any restraining orders are affecting the relationship, stalking can be considered a serious crime.

Stalking usually involves one of five specific circumstances. However, behaviors beyond these may be considered stalking behaviors as well. Unwanted communication including phone calls, texts, letters, emails, gifts and appearances on social media can be considered stalking behavior. As can unwanted physical appearances at an individual’s home, school, workplace or other frequented location. If a restraining order is in place, either appearances or contact may be considered a violation of that order.

In addition, any kind of threat, vandalism or surveillance without permission can be considered stalking behavior. As a result, individuals who may be perceived as stalkers should avoid all of these behaviors or you will risk serious consequences. Victims of this kind of behavior should seek legal counsel and protection from law enforcement because no one should be compelled to put up with such behavior. No matter how well-intentioned or ill-intentioned, stalking behavior is illegal and should be stopped.

Source: Findlaw, “5 Ways You Can Get Charged With Stalking,” Aditi Mukherji, Feb. 12, 2014

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