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
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-90 Stalking; psychological evaluation. (2000)
(1) A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person. For the purpose of this article, the terms "computer" and "computer network" shall have the same meanings as set out in Code Section 16-9-92; the term "contact" shall mean any communication including without being limited to communication in person, by telephone, by mail, by broadcast, by computer, by computer network, or by any other electronic device; and the place or places that contact by telephone, mail, broadcast, computer, computer network, or any other electronic device is deemed to occur shall be the place or places where such communication is received. For the purpose of this article, the term "place or places" shall include any public or private property occupied by the victim other than the residence of the defendant. For the purposes of this article, the term "harassing and intimidating" means a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person's safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose. This Code section shall not be construed to require that an overt threat of death or bodily injury has been made.
(2) A person commits the offense of stalking when such person, in violation of a bond to keep the peace posted pursuant to Code Section 17-6-110, standing order issued under Code Section 19-1-1, temporary restraining order, temporary protective order, permanent restraining order, permanent protective order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction or condition of pretrial release, condition of probation, or condition of parole in effect prohibiting the harassment or intimidation of another person, broadcasts or publishes, including electronic publication, the picture, name, address, or phone number of a person for whose benefit the bond, order, or condition was made and without such person's consent in such a manner that causes other persons to harass or intimidate such person and the person making the broadcast or publication knew or had reason to believe that such broadcast or publication would cause such person to be harassed or intimidated by others.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this Code section, a person who commits the offense of stalking is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) Upon the second conviction, and all subsequent convictions, for stalking, the defendant shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than ten years.
(d) Before sentencing a defendant for any conviction of stalking under this Code section or aggravated stalking under Code Section 16-5-91, the sentencing judge may require psychological evaluation of the offender and shall consider the entire criminal record of the offender. At the time of sentencing, the judge is authorized to issue a permanent restraining order against the offender to protect the person stalked and the members of such person's immediate family, and the judge is authorized to require psychological treatment of the offender as a part of the sentence, or as a condition for suspension or stay of sentence, or for probation.
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-91. Aggravated stalking. (2002)
(a) A person commits the offense of aggravated stalking when such person, in violation of a bond to keep the peace posted pursuant to Code Section 17-6-110, temporary restraining order, temporary protective order, permanent restraining order, permanent protective order, preliminary injunction, good behavior bond, or permanent injunction or condition of pretrial release, condition of probation, or condition of parole in effect prohibiting the behavior described in this subsection, follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person.
(b) Any person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than ten years and by a fine of not more than $10,000.00. The provisions of subsection (d) of Code Section 16-5-90 apply to sentencing for conviction of aggravated stalking.
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-92. Applicability. (1993)
The provisions of Code Sections 16-5-90 and 16-5-91 shall not apply to persons engaged in activities protected by the Constitution of the United States or of this state or to persons or employees of such persons lawfully engaged in bona fide business activity or lawfully engaged in the practice of a profession.
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-93. Right of victim to notification of release or escape of stalker. (1997)
(a) The victim of stalking or aggravated stalking shall be entitled to notice of the release from custody of the person arrested for and charged with the offense of stalking or aggravated stalking and to notice of any hearing on the issue of bail for such person. No such notice shall be required unless the victim provides a landline telephone number other than a pocket pager or electronic communication device number to which such notice can be directed.
(b) The law enforcement agency, prosecutor, or court directly involved with the victim at the outset of a criminal prosecution for the offense of stalking or aggravated stalking shall advise the victim of his or her right to notice and of the requirement of the victim's providing a landline telephone number other than a pocket pager or electronic communication device number to which the notice of custodial release or bail hearing can be directed. Such victim shall transmit the telephone number described in this subsection to the court and custodian of the person charged with stalking or aggravated stalking.
(c) Upon receipt of the telephone number, the custodian of the person charged with stalking or aggravated stalking shall take reasonable and necessary steps under the circumstances to notify the victim of the person's release from custody. Such notice shall, at a minimum, include:
(1) Prior to the person's release, placing a telephone call to the number provided by the victim and giving notice to the victim or any person answering the telephone who appears to be sui juris or by leaving an appropriate message on a telephone answering machine; and
(2) Following the person's release, if the custodian is unable to notify the victim by the method provided in paragraph (1) of this subsection, telephoning the number provided by the victim no less than two times in no less than 15 minute intervals within one hour of custodial release and giving notice to the victim or to any person answering the telephone who appears to be sui juris or by leaving an appropriate message on a telephone answering machine.
(d) Upon receipt of the telephone number, the court conducting a hearing on the issue of bail shall take reasonable and necessary steps under the circumstances to notify the victim of any scheduled hearing on the issue of bail. Such notice shall, at a minimum, include placing a telephone call to the number provided by the victim prior to any scheduled hearing on the issue of bail.
(e) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code section, a scheduled bail hearing or the release of the person charged with stalking or aggravated stalking shall not be delayed solely for the purpose of effectuating notice pursuant to this Code section for a period of more than 30 minutes.
(f) Upon the person's release or escape from custody after conviction and service of all or a portion of a sentence, notification to the victim shall be provided by the State Board of Pardons and Paroles as set forth in Code Sections 42-9-46 and 42-9-47.
(g) This Code section shall not apply to a custodian who is transferring a person charged with stalking or aggravated stalking to another custodian in this state.
(h) As used in this Code section, the term "custodian" means a warden, sheriff, jailer, deputy sheriff, police officer, officer or employee of the Department of Juvenile Justice, or any other law enforcement officer having actual custody of an inmate.
(i) A custodian or his or her employing agency shall not be liable in damages for a failure to provide the notice required by this Code section, but the custodian shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action including termination for such failure.
O.C.G.A. § 16-5-94. Restraining orders; protective orders. (1999)
(a) A person who is not a minor who alleges stalking by another person may seek a restraining order by filing a petition alleging conduct constituting stalking as defined in Code Section 16-5-90. A person who is not a minor may also seek relief on behalf of a minor by filing such a petition.
(b) Jurisdiction for such a petition shall be the same as for family violence petitions as set out in Code Section 19-13-2.
(c) Upon the filing of a verified petition in which the petitioner alleges with specific facts that probable cause exists to establish that stalking by the respondent has occurred in the past and may occur in the future, the court may order such temporary relief ex parte as it deems necessary to protect the petitioner or a minor of the household from stalking. If the court issues an ex parte order, a copy of the order shall be immediately furnished to the petitioner.
(d) The court may grant a protective order or approve a consent agreement to bring about a cessation of conduct constituting stalking. Orders or agreements may:
(1) Direct a party to refrain from such conduct;
(2) Order a party to refrain from harassing or interfering with the other;
(3) Award costs and attorney's fees to either party; and
(4) Order either or all parties to receive appropriate psychiatric or psychological services as a further measure to prevent the recurrence of stalking.
(e) The provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 19-13-3, subsections (b), (c), and (d) of Code Section 19-13-4, and Code Section 19-13-5, relating to family violence petitions, shall apply to petitions filed pursuant to this Code section, except that the clerk of court may provide forms for petitions and pleadings to persons alleging conduct constituting stalking and to any other person designated by the superior court pursuant to this Code section as authorized to advise persons alleging conduct constituting stalking on filling out and filing such petitions and pleadings.
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Related Offenses O.C.G.A. § 16-11-61. Peeping Toms. (1968)
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to be a "peeping Tom" on or about the premises of another or to go about or upon the premises of another for the purpose of becoming a "peeping Tom."
(b) As used in this Code section, the term "peeping Tom" means a person who peeps through windows or doors, or other like places, on or about the premises of another for the purpose of spying upon or invading the privacy of the persons spied upon and the doing of any other acts of a similar nature which invade the privacy of such persons.
O.C.G.A. § 16-11-62. Eavesdropping, surveillance, or intercepting communication which invades privacy of another; divulging private message. (2000)
It shall be unlawful for:
(1) Any person in a clandestine manner intentionally to overhear, transmit, or record or attempt to overhear, transmit, or record the private conversation of another which shall originate in any private place;
(2) Any person, through the use of any device, without the consent of all persons observed, to observe, photograph, or record the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view; provided, however, that it shall not be unlawful:
(A) To use any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons incarcerated in any jail, correctional institution, or any other facility in which persons who are charged with or who have been convicted of the commission of a crime are incarcerated, provided that such equipment shall not be used while the prisoner is discussing his or her case with his or her attorney;
(B) For an owner or occupier of real property to use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are on the property or an approach thereto in areas where there is no reasonable expectation of privacy; or
(C) To use for security purposes, crime prevention, or crime detection any device to observe, photograph, or record the activities of persons who are within the curtilage of the residence of the person using such device. A photograph, videotape, or record made in accordance with this subparagraph, or a copy thereof, may be disclosed by such resident to the district attorney or a law enforcement officer and shall be admissible in a judicial proceeding, without the consent of any person observed, photographed, or recorded;
(3) Any person to go on or about the premises of another or any private place, except as otherwise provided by law, for the purpose of invading the privacy of others by eavesdropping upon their conversations or secretly observing their activities;
(4) Any person intentionally and secretly to intercept by the use of any device, instrument, or apparatus the contents of a message sent by telephone, telegraph, letter, or by any other means of private communication;
(5) Any person to divulge to any unauthorized person or authority the content or substance of any private message intercepted lawfully in the manner provided for in Code Section 16-11-65;
(6) Any person to sell, give, or distribute, without legal authority, to any person or entity any photograph, videotape, or record, or copies thereof, of the activities of another which occur in any private place and out of public view without the consent of all persons observed; or
(7) Any person to commit any other acts of a nature similar to those set out in paragraphs (1) through (6) of this Code section which invade the privacy of another.
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