Stalking occurs when someone engages in conduct that causes a person to feel afraid or experience emotional distress.
In simple terms, it refers to pursuing someone who does not want contact with you. State laws protect individuals from this kind of unwanted contact.
What is stalking under Wisconsin law?
The crime of stalking involves directing two or more actions at a specific person that would reasonably cause anyone to fear bodily injury or death or suffer severe emotional distress. Typically, it involves repeated conduct intended to cause the victim to feel threatened, harassed, anxious or afraid.
What actions can lead to stalking charges?
Legally, if someone shows harmful intent, any of the following actions can lead to criminal charges:
- Confronting the victim
- Keeping an unwanted physical or visual proximity to the victim
- Repeatedly calling the person
- Contacting neighbors or showing up at the person’s home
- Arriving at the other person’s workplace or making contact with coworkers
- Entering property owned or occupied by the victim without permission
- Placing or delivering objects to the other person’s property or the property of the victim’s relatives
- Sending materials to the victim online or cyberstalking
- Monitoring or recording the person electronically
How do you defend a stalking charge?
A stalking charge is complex and can have significant penalties and consequences. However, the prosecution must prove you intentionally directed actions at the victim to cause fear or dread. Defending yourself requires in-depth knowledge of Wisconsin’s related laws and statutes.
Because the legal definition of stalking can encompass many different types of conduct, giving a person extra attention may constitute an invasion of privacy that results in criminal charges. Understanding your rights under the law is crucial to your case.