Understanding stalking charges

Michigan residents who have gone through a difficult breakup of their relationship could end up being accused of stalking if they continue unwanted communications with their ex-partner. Stalking is considered a criminal offense, and a person could face charges for stalking even if the only contact with the alleged victim was online.

According to the United States Department of Justice, a person can be charged for stalking when they engage in a pattern of behavior that includes unwanted contact, harassment, and attention directed towards another individual. To meet the definition of stalking, the repeated incidents must be intimidating enough that they would cause a reasonable person to feel scared.

Criminal stalking behavior may include repeated phone calls, emails or letters that are frightening, intrusive and unwanted. Physically following a specific person and waiting for them at their home and work is also stalking behavior. People accused of stalking may have made threats of harm to the alleged victim or their family members or damaged the alleged victim's property. Online activities can also lead to stalking charges if a person posts rumors on the Internet about the alleged victim or attempts to obtain information about the person through the Internet.

Accusations of stalking are often accompanied by accusations of domestic violence. A person who is being accused of these types of behaviors may want to have representation from an attorney as soon as they realize that they may be facing criminal charges. An attorney may be able to help dispute the validity of domestic violence and stalking charges or negotiate for reduced charges.