If you have someone stalking you, it can be quiet a scary and alarming experience. Mixed with the fear is uncertainty about which direction to go, anxiety over making the stalker mad that may cause the stalker to do something more extreme. That stalking is a crime that could result in fines and penalties doesn't always deter stalkers. Victims don't always know their rights or what measures they should take to safeguard themselves. The victim's legal ignorance can sometimes play to the stalker's advantage. When unsure of what to do, many turn online for Expert opinion. Below are answers by Criminal Lawyers on JustAnswer to the most common questions about Stalking.
Additional Question: Are the laws the same in every county within the state?
In Pennsylvania the laws on stalking are essentially the same in every county. Stalking is considered a crime against the victim. A person is normally guilty of stalking if intentionally being unkind, taking on a pattern of behavior or actions over a period of time, directed at a certain person. This can includes:
These type of acts or threats would include, but are not limited to the behavior, acts or threats either by mail or telephone or any device including but not limited to electronic mail, or internet would constitute stalking.
In Pennsylvania the statute of limitations is two years for a misdemeanor and five years for a felony. A victim has the above time limit from the time the stalking took place to file a complaint. If you are facing a stalking situation and are unsure of what you should do or what the law is in your state, the Criminal Lawyers on JustAnswer can help answer state specific legal questions about stalking laws.
A temporary prevention from stalking is normally ordered by the court if it deems by the paperwork submitted that there might be stalking. Stalking is anything that constitutes an intentional harassment of another person that places that person or other person in fear of their safety. Harassment is the intentional act of conduct directed at a certain person that alarms, annoys torments or terrorizes that person. Stalking and harassment must include an act on the part of the stalker, and contain two or more acts over a period of time, either short or long term, that would cause an amount of emotional stress on the victim. After a temporary order is granted, a hearing would normally follow to decide whether or not the order to prevent stalking should be extended or revoked.
In most cases the actions of a private investigator may not constitute as stalking. Each state has their own definition of stalking or harassment crimes and these are usually different from the actions of most private investigators. Most laws require the stalking to take place over a period of time. Most stalking laws also require that the stalker is placing the individual in emotional distress, and fear of injury or even death. Some laws even state that stalking must serve no lawful purpose, and some laws protect the provisions of freedom of the press. Each situation can have its own peculiarities that may or may not constitute stalking or harassment. If you are unsure of your situation or need state specific answers to stalking laws, you can ask a Criminal Lawyer on JustAnswer for legal insight.
If someone in the state of California feels they are being stalked and they feel their life might be in danger, they can apply for a Temporary Restraining Order based on the stalker's actions. They can go to their country clerk and ask for a form to request temporary restraining orders. The clerk can even help them fill out the form. In most cases the judge will look over the documents presented and make their decisions within twenty-four hours.
There are many different laws on stalking that vary from state to state. While all laws are intended to protect someone that has been stalked, their scope, interpretation of stalking and the legal provisions to the victims can vary. A quick and easy way to determine the best course of action in your particular situation and to get state-specific legal provisions available to you, you can ask a Criminal Lawyer on JustAnswer for Expert opinions and legal insights on your case.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.