Stalking is not an individual act but a series of constant offensive behaviors. The NCADV states that every one in six women and every one in nineteen men had prior experience of being stalked. Stalking is an admissible problem in relationships that are violent in nature but it gets scarier when the same thing happens with a former or current partner.
Understand What Domestic Violence is
Pennsylvanian law does not differentiate domestic violence from crimes like stalking and/or assault. The difference in handling a domestic violence case can be seen when the victim of the crime is in a “domestic relationship”. Pennsylvania law states that a domestic relationship comprises of “family or household members” when:
- You have lived together as partners or are current or former partners and have a child together.
- You have a former or current sexual relationship with the offender.
- You are both a parent and a child, or
- Some other familial relationship prevails between you and the offender.
Under Section 6102-Title 23-DOMESTIC RELATIONS, domestic violence related crimes incorporate within them causing someone any sort of physical injuries recklessly, any form of sexual assault, rape. It also includes threatening someone of inevitable bodily injuries, incest with or without any deadly weapon. As well as indecent assault, sexually abusing minors, falsely imprisoning under Pennsylvania law and intentionally acting in a way that puts another person in reasonable fear of bodily harm, including following them despite their lack of authority.
How to Know You Are Being Stalked?
According to Pennsylvania law, stalking is any act or communication that is intended to put someone else into reasonable fear of bodily injury or to cause substantial emotional distress. According to Section 2709.1-Title 18-CRIMES AND OFFENCES, there may be more than one act in a course of conduct. When you are stalked once, it is a first-degree misdemeanor but becomes a felony when:
- You are stalked more than once or repeatedly.
- The offender has a record of committing violent acts towards the same family member, or
- When the victim has a PFA(Protection From Abuse Order) against the offender.
But if anyone reports a false stalking report then the Pennsylvania law states that they would be guilty of either falsely incriminating someone or filing a fictitious report.
Stalking Behaviors, Penalties for Stalking and Defenses to Stalking
Some behaviors that are included under stalking are, violating a PFA from another jurisdiction, trespassing, repeated harassment and threatening through obscene calls, following the victim, mailing unsolicited letters or gifts, tracking the victim’s car or disabling it, disabling the victim's home security, spying or monitoring every action of the victim and more. And as a Pittsburgh PFA Lawyer, we at Logue Law Group help you out with these.
Pennsylvania law states that a first-degree misdemeanor is to be charged with a $10,000 fine with up to five years imprisonment, whereas the third-degree felony would mean a $15,000 fine and up to seven years imprisonment. Stalking charges become more severe when the victim is a minor or an elderly, you have been threatened or physically assaulted by the offender, a PFA has been violated and if you are in a “domestic relationship” with the offender, it becomes a domestic-violence related crime and an arrest can be made without a warrant and I help you as one of the best Pittsburgh Domestic Violence Lawyer.
Defenses Raise for Stalking When
- The prosecution fails to prove the offence
- The victim accuses the wrong person by mistake or lies.