Welcome to the Stalking Resource Center

The mission of the Stalking Resource Center is to enhance the ability of professionals, organizations, and systems to effectively respond to stalking.

Maryland

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.

Stalking
Harassment
Related Offenses

Analyzing Stalking Laws


Stalking

Md. Criminal law Code Ann. § 3-801. "Course of conduct" defined.  (2002)
In this subtitle, "course of conduct" means a persistent pattern of conduct, composed of a series of acts over time, that shows a continuity of purpose.

Md. Criminal law Code Ann. § 3-802. Stalking. (2011)
(a) "Stalking" defined. -- In this section, "stalking" means a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where the person intends to place or knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear:

(1)

(i) of serious bodily injury;

(ii) of an assault in any degree;

(iii) of rape or sexual offense as defined by §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of this article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree

(iv) of false imprisonment; or

(v) of death; or

(2) that a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in item (1) of this subsection.

(b) Prohibited. -- The provisions of this section do not apply to conduct that is:

(1) performed to ensure compliance with a court order;

(2) performed to carry out a specific lawful commercial purpose; or

(3) authorized, required, or protected by local, State, or federal law.

(c) Applicability. -- A person may not engage in stalking.

(d) Penalty. -- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $ 5,000 or both.

(e) Sentence. -- A sentence imposed under this section may be separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any other crime based on the acts establishing a violation of this section.

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Harassment

Md. Criminal law Code Ann. § 3-803. Harassment. (2011)
(a) Prohibited. -- A person may not follow another in or about a public place or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other:

(1) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;

(2) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and

(3) without a legal purpose.

(b)  Exception. -- This section does not apply to a peaceable activity intended to express a political view or provide information to others.

(c)  Penalty. -- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to:

(1) for a first offense, imprisonment not exceeding 90 days or a fine not exceeding $ 500 or both; and

(2) for a second or subsequent offense, imprisonment not exceeding 180 days or a fine not exceeding $1,000 or both.

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Related Offenses

Md. Criminal law Code Ann. § 3-804. Misuse of telephone facilities and equipment. (2002)
(a) Prohibited. -- A person may not use telephone facilities or equipment to make:

(1) an anonymous call that is reasonably expected to annoy, abuse, torment, harass, or embarrass another;

(2) repeated calls with the intent to annoy, abuse, torment, harass, or embarrass another; or

(3) a comment, request, suggestion, or proposal that is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent.

(b) Penalty. -- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding $ 500 or both.

Md. Criminal law Code Ann. § 3-805. Misuse of electronic communication. (2012)
(a) "Electronic communication" defined.—In this section, "electronic communication" means the transmission of information, data, or a communication by the use of a computer or any other electronic means that is sent to a person and that is received by the person.

(b) Prohibited.—A person may not maliciously engage in a course of conduct, through the use of electronic communication, that alarms or seriously annoys another:

(1) with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the other;

(2) after receiving a reasonable warning or request to stop by or on behalf of the other; and

(3) without a legal purpose.

(c) Construction of section.—It is not a violation of this section for any of the following persons to provide information, facilities, or technical assistance to another who is authorized by federal or State law to intercept or provide electronic communication or to conduct surveillance of electronic communication, if a court order directs the person to provide the information, facilities, or technical assistance:

(1) a provider of electronic communication;

(2) an officer, employee, agent, landlord, or custodian of a provider of electronic communication; or

(3) a person specified in a court order directing the provision of information, facilities, or technical assistance to another who is authorized by federal or State law to intercept or provide electronic communication or to conduct surveillance of electronic communication.

(d) Exception.—This section does not apply to a peaceable activity intended to express a political view or provide information to others.

(e) Penalty.—A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding one year or a fine not exceeding $500 or both.

Md. Code Ann. § 3-902. Visual surveillance with prurient intent. (2012)

(a) Definitions. --

(1) In this section the following words have the meanings indicated.

(2) "Camera" includes any electronic device that can be used surreptitiously to observe an individual.

(3) "Female breast" means a portion of the female breast below the top of the areola.

(4) "Private area of an individual" means the naked or undergarment-clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breast of an individual.

(5)

(i) "Private place" means a room in which a person can reasonably be expected to fully or partially disrobe and has a reasonable expectation of privacy, in:

1. an office, business, or store;

2. a recreational facility;

3. a restaurant or tavern;

4. a hotel, motel, or other lodging facility;

5. a theater or sports arena;

6. a school or other educational institution;

7. a bank or other financial institution;

8. any part of a family child care home used for the care and custody of a child; or

9. another place of public use or accommodation.

(ii) "Private place" includes a tanning room, dressing room, bedroom, or restroom.

(6)

(i) "Visual surveillance" means the deliberate, surreptitious observation of an individual by any means.

(ii) "Visual surveillance" includes surveillance by:

1. direct sight;

2. the use of mirrors; or

3. the use of cameras.

(iii) "Visual surveillance" does not include a casual, momentary, or unintentional observation of an individual.

(b) Scope of section. -- This section does not apply to a person who without prurient intent:

(1) conducts filming by or for the print or broadcast media;

(2) conducts or procures another to conduct visual surveillance of an individual to protect property or public safety or prevent crime; or

(3) conducts visual surveillance and:

(i) holds a license issued under Title 13 or Title 19 of the Business Occupations and Professions Article; and

(ii) is acting within the scope of the person's occupation.

(c) Prohibited. -- A person may not with prurient intent conduct or procure another to conduct visual surveillance of:

(1) an individual in a private place without the consent of that individual; or

(2) the private area of an individual by use of a camera without the consent of the individual under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that the private area of the individual would not be visible to the public, regardless of whether the individual is in a public or private place.

(d) Penalty. -- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 1 year or a fine not exceeding $ 2,500 or both.

(e) Civil action. --

(1) An individual who was under visual surveillance in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who conducted or procured another to conduct the visual surveillance.

(2) In an action under this subsection, the court may award actual damages and reasonable attorney's fees.

(f) Other remedies. -- This section does not affect any legal or equitable right or remedy otherwise provided by law.

(g) Effect of section. -- This section does not affect the application of § 3-901 of this subtitle.

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