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
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-107. Stalking. (2010)
(a) Any person who purposefully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, or who makes a credible threat, and who knows or should know that the conduct would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her own safety, to fear for the safety of another person, or to fear damage or destruction of his or her property, is guilty of the crime of stalking.
(b) A person who is convicted of the crime of stalking under this section shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(c) Any person who is convicted of a violation of this section when there is in effect at the time of the commission of the offense a valid temporary restraining order, ex parte protective order, protective order after hearing, court approved consent agreement, or an injunction issued by a municipal, justice, county, circuit or chancery court, federal or tribal court or by a foreign court of competent jurisdiction * * * prohibiting the behavior described in this section against the same party, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year and by a fine of not more than One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00).
(a) A person who commits acts that would constitute the crime of stalking as defined in this section is guilty of the crime of aggravated stalking if any of the following circumstances exist:
(i) at least one (1) of the actions constituting the offense involved the use or display of a deadly weapon with the intent to place the victim of the stalking in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury to self or a third person;
(ii) Within the past seven (7) years, the perpetrator has been previously convicted of stalking or aggravated stalking under this section or a substantially similar law of another state, political subdivision of another state, of the United States, or of a federally recognized Indian tribe, whether against the same or another victim; or
(iii) At the time of the offense, the perpetrator was a person required to register as a sex offender pursuant to state, federal, military or tribal law and the victim was under the age of eighteen (18) years.
(b) Aggravated stalking is a felony punishable as follows:
(i) Except as provided in subparagraph (ii), by imprisonment in the custody of the Department of Corrections for not more than five (5) years and a fine of not more than Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00).
(ii) If, at the time of the offense, the perpetrator was required to register as a sex offender pursuant to state, federal, military or tribal law, and the victim was under the age of eighteen (18) years, by imprisonment for not more than six (6) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections and a fine of Four Thousand Dollars ($4,000.00).
(3) Upon conviction, the sentencing court shall consider issuance of an order prohibiting the perpetrator from any contact with the victim. The duration of any order prohibiting contact with the victim shall be based upon the seriousness of the facts before the court, the probability of future violations, and the safety of the victim or another person.
(4) Every conviction of stalking or aggravated stalking may require as a condition of any suspended sentence or sentence of probation that the defendant, at his own expense, submit to psychiatric or psychological counseling or other such treatment or behavioral modification program deemed appropriate by the court.
(5) In any prosecution under this section, it shall not be a defense that the perpetrator was not given actual notice that the course of conduct was unwanted or that the perpetrator did not intend to cause the victim fear.
(6) When investigating allegations of a violation of this section, law enforcement officers shall utilize the Uniform Offense Report prescribed by the Office of the Attorney General in consultation with the sheriffs' and police chiefs' associations. However, failure of law enforcement to utilize the Uniform Offense Report shall in no way invalidate the crime charged under this section.
(7) For purposes of venue, any violation of this section shall be considered to have been committed in any county in which any single act was performed in furtherance of a violation of this section. An electronic communication shall be deemed to have been committed in any county from which the electronic communication is generated or in which it is received.
(8) For the purposes of this section:
(a) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of two (2) or more acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose and that would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her own safety, to fear for the safety of another person, or to fear damage or destruction of his or her property. Such acts may include, but are not limited to, the following or any combination thereof, whether done directly or indirectly: (i) following or confronting the other person in a public place or on private property against the other person's will; (ii) contacting the other person by telephone or mail, or by electronic mail or communication as defined in Section 97-45-1; or (iii) threatening or causing harm to the other person or a third party.
(b) Credible threat" means a verbal or written threat to cause harm to a specific person or to cause damage to property that would cause a reasonable person to fear for the safety of that person or damage to the property.
(c) "Reasonable person" means a reasonable person in the victim's circumstances.
(9) The incarceration of a person at the time the threat is made shall not be a bar to prosecution under this section. Constitutionally protected activity is not prohibited by this section.
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-45-15. "Cyberstalking"; penalties. (2003)
(1) It is unlawful for a person to:
(a) Use in electronic mail or electronic communication any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to that person's child, sibling, spouse or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.
(b) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of threatening, terrifying or harassing any person.
(c) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person's family or household with the intent to threaten, terrify or harass.
(d) Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person's control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.
(2) Whoever commits the offense of cyberstalking shall be punished, upon conviction:
(a) Except as provided herein, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years or a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($ 5,000.00), or both.
(b) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years or a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($ 10,000.00), or both:
(i) The offense is in violation of a restraining order and the person has received actual notice of that restraining order or posting the message is in violation of an injunction or preliminary injunction.
(ii) The offense is in violation of a condition of probation, a condition of parole, a condition of pretrial release or a condition of release on bond pending appeal.
(iii) The offense results in a credible threat being communicated to the victim, a member of the victim's family, or another individual living in the same household as the victim.
(iv) The person has been previously convicted of violating this section or a substantially similar law of another state, a political subdivision of another state, or of the United States.
(3) This section does not apply to any peaceable, nonviolent, or nonthreatening activity intended to express political views or to provide lawful information to others. This section shall not be construed to impair any constitutionally protected activity, including speech, protest or assembly.
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