Stalking is a Serious Crime Against a Person
Crimes against people are the most serious crimes in all jurisdictions. A crime against a person usually involves force, threat or the threat of force. Injury and death can be a likely result of such a crime. Stalking is one such crime, especially in Claremore. Stalking is a crime that causes the victim to feel fear, and often results in violence.
Crimes against property, in contrast, often involve stealth or deceit. The level of injury or death in such crimes is very low. Crimes against people are almost always punished more severely than crimes against property.
Under Oklahoma law, stalking is defined as the willful, malicious and repeated following or harassing of another person in such manner that would cause a reasonable person, and which does cause the victim, to feel terrorized, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1173
The stalking victim can be the intended target or a member of the target’s immediate family. OUJI-CR 4-29.
Under the statute, harassment is defined as a course of conduct directed toward another person that can include repeated or continuing non-consensual contact, such as obscene phone calls, hang-ups, repeated calls, and calls in the middle of the night.
It can also involve following another person, using a telephone or other electronic device, to threaten or harass, as well as mailing packages or letters, harming pets and the like. If a reasonable person would feel threatened by the behavior, it is considered to be stalking under the law.
Stalking in Violation of a Court Order
Stalking becomes a much more serious crime if it is done in violation of a court order. This could be any situation where the stalker has been prohibited by the court from contact with the victim and where the stalker has notice of the court’s order. This could be a protective order prohibiting contact, or a situation where the contact is a violation of the stalker’s probation or parole.
Or it could be a situation in which the stalker has been previously convicted of the use of force or threat against the same victim or a member of the victim’s family. OUJI-CR 4-29.
Penalties For Stalking
Stalking is often charged as a misdemeanor crime. This is punishable by up to a year in jail a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
However, there are situations in which stalking is charged as a felony. Stalking in violation of an existing protective order, probation, or parole, is a felony offense. This is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Second and third convictions for stalking carry even more severe penalties. You can spend up to 10 years in prison and be subject to increased fines.
A stalking conviction will mean jail time. It is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in the Claremore area if you are facing any kind of stalking charge.
So much about this crime is grounded in the reasonableness or lack of reasonableness of the behaviors involved. You may truly believe that your well-intentioned actions are reasonable given the circumstances. You want an attorney who is familiar with the law, with the available defenses, and with the judicial system in your area.
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