Statistics show that one out of every six women suffer from a stalker at some point in their lives. This situation is often very scary, particularly if the stalked woman wants to pursue a lawsuit against their stalker. As a result, high-quality criminal representation is necessary to ensure that a case has a better chance of success.
Stalkers Often Don't Realize They Are Stalking
The strange truth about stalkers is that they often don't realize that their behavior is criminal. In a recent blog, a man who became a stalker stated that he was unaware that his actions - including frequenting the bar where the woman worked and figuring out what hours she worked - could be considered wrong and viewed them as benevolent stalking and proof of his love.
This young man - confident that the woman liked him or that he deserved her - then used various contact forms to send her letters filled with poetry and drawings confessing his love. He also called her repeatedly and left messages, after which she contacted the police. After the police told him to leave her alone, he did for six months before showing up at her graduation.
This writer continued this irrational behavior, including writing a novel dedicated to her and published it himself. After this, he then followed her to Glasgow on a personal trip. Though the girl in this case wasn't physically harmed, she did suffer from emotional pain and a high level of fear for her life.
And in other stalking cases, stalkers end up following their victims, physically threatening them, contacting friends and family members about the individual, and becoming violent or aggressive. Therefore, early stalking situations should be stopped as soon as possible, with victims fully understanding where their stalker's behavior lies on the legal spectrum.
Stalking Has Specific Legal Definitions
States set up specific definitions for stalking, including multiple criminal degrees, to ensure that certain behaviors are stopped. For example, stalking in California is defined as "Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person..."
These behaviors include the individual making "a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety." Another element of this definition includes individuals violating temporary restraining orders, injunctions, or court orders keeping the stalker away from a person.
Credible threats include a rather broad array of activities, including verbally threatening somebody, writing a threatening letter, or sending an angry text message or e-mail. The threatened individual must be in reasonable fear for their safety or that of their family.
Stalking Requires Specific Evidence
People attempting to build a criminal case against a stalker need to collect many types of evidence. Eyewitness accounts help, including individuals who heard the stalker threaten somebody verbally. Written threats also help provide helpful evidence that builds a stronger case against the stalker.
Essentially, the plaintiff must showcase that they felt reasonably afraid for their well-being due to a stalker's actions. Importantly, the plaintiff doesn't need to prove that the stalker really intended to carry out any threats. Actual intent or harmful actions aren't necessary to show that the defendant was stalking as long as the plaintiff can demonstrate that they felt reasonable fear for their safety.
Legal Help Improves Chances of Winning
The difficulties inherent in stalking lawsuits make legal help an absolute priority. So if you are being stalked, please call visit us at David Wilson Attorney At Law to set up a free consultation. Our legal professionals will help victims of stalking better understand their rights and will work hard to ensure that they are safe.