Stalking charges are a difficult issue to navigate, especially because they are often based on very little hard evidence. While they are similar in nature to violent crime charges, stalking is very specifically different from violent crimes because by definition stalking does not usually involve actual physical violence.
Stalking charges may arise a number of ways, and these charges may flex to include surprisingly benign behavior, depending on the circumstances and the claims of the accuser. In Missouri, the law indicates that individuals may face aggravated stalking charges if they
- Intentionally harass another person or follow him or her while intending to harass that person
- Exhibit this behavior repeatedly
- Pose some sort of credible threat against the alleged victim, causing the victim to reasonably fear for his or her life or physical safety
If you face stalking charges, it is important to defend your rights and your reputation. In some cases, for instance, a frustrated former partner may bring stalking charges against a person out of retribution, rather than because of actual threatening behavior. This is not to say that all individuals who claim another person is stalking them does so frivolously. However, it is surprisingly common for a person who wishes to add some legal clout to a particularly difficult personal falling out or break-up to allege that the other party is stalking him or her.
Be sure to consider all your legal options in the face of stalking charges. These charges may seriously affect many areas of your life, both professionally and personally. With proper legal counsel from an experienced defense attorney, you can assess the validity of the charges against you and identify strong grounds to challenge the charges to keep your reputation and rights secure.
Source: FindLaw, "Stalking," accessed Jan. 12, 2018