This page lists the most applicable state crimes addressing stalking. However, depending on the facts of the case, a stalker might also be charged with other crimes, such as trespassing, intimidation of a witness, breaking and entering, etc. Check your state code or consult with your local prosecutor about other charges that might apply in a particular case.
Analyzing Stalking Laws
Stalking C.R.S. 18-3-601. [Formerly 18-9-111 (4) (a)] Legislative declaration. (2010)
(1) The general assembly hereby finds and declares that:
(a) Stalking is a serious problem in this state and nationwide;
(b) Although stalking often involves persons who have had an intimate relationship with one another, it can also involve persons who have little or no past relationship;
(c) A stalker will often maintain strong, unshakable, and irrational emotional feelings for his or her victim, and may likewise believe that the victim either returns these feelings of affection or will do so if the stalker is persistent enough. Further, the stalker often maintains this belief, despite a trivial or nonexistent basis for it and despite rejection, lack of reciprocation, efforts to restrict or avoid the stalker, and other facts that conflict with this belief.
(d) A stalker may also develop jealousy and animosity for persons who are in relationships with the victim, including family members, employers and co-workers, and friends, perceiving them as obstacles or as threats to the stalker's own "relationship" with the victim;
(e) Because stalking involves highly inappropriate intensity, persistence, and possessiveness, it entails great unpredictability and creates great stress and fear for the victim;
(f) Stalking involves severe intrusions on the victim's personal privacy and autonomy, with an immediate and long-lasting impact on quality of life as well as risks to security and safety of the victim and persons close to the victim, even in the absence of express threats of physical harm.
(2) The general assembly hereby recognizes the seriousness posed by stalking and adopts the provisions of this part 6 with the goal of encouraging and authorizing effective intervention before stalking can escalate into behavior that has even more serious consequences.
C.R.S. 18-3-602. Stalking - penalty - definitions - Vonnie's Law. (2012)
(1) A person commits stalking if directly, or indirectly, through another person, the person knowingly:
(a) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship; or
(b) Makes a credible threat to another person and, in connection with the threat, repeatedly makes any form of communication with that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation ensues; or
(c) Repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, places under surveillance, or makes any form of communication with another person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship in a manner that would cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress and does cause that person, a member of that person's immediate family, or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship to suffer serious emotional distress. For purposes of this paragraph (c), a victim need not show that he or she received professional treatment or counseling to show that he or she suffered serious emotional distress.
(2) For the purposes of this part 6:
(a) Conduct "in connection with" a credible threat means acts that further, advance, promote, or have a continuity of purpose, and may occur before, during, or after the credible threat.
(b) "Credible threat" means a threat, physical action, or repeated conduct that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear for the person's safety or the safety of his or her immediate family or of someone with whom the person has or has had a continuing relationship. The threat need not be directly expressed if the totality of the conduct would cause a reasonable person such fear.
(c) "Immediate family" includes the person's spouse and the person's parent, grandparent, sibling, or child.
(d) "Repeated" or "repeatedly" means on more than one occasion.
(3) A person who commits stalking:
(a) Commits a class 5 felony for a first offense except as otherwise provided in subsection (5) of this section; or
(b) Commits a class 4 felony for a second or subsequent offense, if the offense occurs within seven years after the date of a prior offense for which the person was convicted.
(4) Stalking is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified presumptive sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-401 (10).
(5) If, at the time of the offense, there was a temporary or permanent protection order, injunction, or condition of bond, probation, or parole or any other court order in effect against the person, prohibiting the behavior described in this section, the person commits a class 4 felony.
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter or diminish the inherent authority of the court to enforce its orders through civil or criminal contempt proceedings; however, before a criminal contempt proceeding is heard before the court, notice of the proceedings shall be provided to the district attorney for the judicial district of the court where the proceedings are to be heard and the district attorney for the judicial district in which the alleged act of criminal contempt occurred. The district attorney for either district shall be allowed to appear and argue for the imposition of contempt sanctions.
(7) A peace officer shall have a duty to respond as soon as reasonably possible to a report of stalking and to cooperate with the alleged victim in investigating the report.
(a) When a person is arrested for an alleged violation of this section, the fixing of bail for the crime of stalking shall be done in accordance with section 16-4-103 (2) (d), C.R.S., and a protection order shall issue in accordance with section 18-1-1001(5).
(b) This subsection (8) shall be known and may be cited as “Vonnie's law.”
(9) When a violation under this section is committed in connection with a violation of a court order, including but not limited to any protection order or any order that sets forth the conditions of a bond, any sentences imposed pursuant to this section and pursuant to section 18-6-803.5, or any sentence imposed in a contempt proceeding for violation of the court order shall be served consecutively and not concurrently.
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