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 Related Offenses
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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Miss. Code Ann. § 97-3-85. Threats and intimidation; by letter or notice. (1942)
If any person shall post, mail, deliver, or drop a threatening letter or notice to another, whether such other be named or indicated therein or not, with intent to terrorize or to intimidate such other, he shall, upon conviction, be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not more than six months, or by fine not more than five hundred dollars, or both.
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-29-45. Obscene electronic communications. (2002)
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons:
(a) To make any comment, request, suggestion or proposal by means of telecommunication or electronic communication which is obscene, lewd or lascivious with intent to abuse, threaten or harass any party to a telephone conversation, telecommunication or electronic communication;
(b) To make a telecommunication or electronic communication with intent to terrify, intimidate or harass, and threaten to inflict injury or physical harm to any person or to his property;
(c) To make a telephone call, whether or not conversation ensues, without disclosing his identity and with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person at the called number;
(d) To make or cause the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring, with intent to harass any person at the called number;
(e) To make repeated telephone calls, during which conversation ensues, solely to harass any person at the called number; or
(f) Knowingly to permit a computer or a telephone of any type under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.
(2) Upon conviction of any person for the first offense of violating subsection (1) of this section, such person shall be fined not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($ 500.00) or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than six (6) months, or both.
(3) Upon conviction of any person for the second offense of violating subsection (1) of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($ 1,000.00) or imprisoned in the county jail for not more than one (1) year, or both.
(4) For any third or subsequent conviction of any person violating subsection (1) of this section, the offenses being committed within a period of five (5) years, such person shall be guilty of a felony and fined not more than Two Thousand Dollars ($ 2,000.00) and/or imprisoned in the State Penitentiary for not more than two (2) years, or both.
(5) The provisions of this section do not apply to a person or persons who make a telephone call that would be covered by the provisions of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 USCS Section 1692 et seq.
(6) Any person violating this section may be prosecuted in the county where the telephone call, conversation or language originates in case such call, conversation or language originates in the State of Mississippi. In case the call, conversation or language originates outside of the State of Mississippi then such person shall be prosecuted in the county to which it is transmitted.
(7) For the purposes of this section, telecommunication and electronic communication mean and include any type of telephonic, electronic or radio communications, or transmission of signs, signals, data, writings, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by telephone, including cellular telephones, wire, cable, radio, electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical system or the creation, display, management, storage, processing, transmission or distribution of images, text, voice, video or data by wire, cable or wireless means, including the Internet.
(8) No person shall be held to have violated this section solely for providing access or connection to telecommunications or electronic communications services where the services do not include the creation of the content of the communication. Companies organized to do business as commercial broadcast radio stations, television stations, telecommunications service providers, Internet service providers, cable service providers or news organizations shall not be criminally liable under this section.
Miss. Code Ann. § 97-29-63. Photographing or filming another without permission where there is expectation of privacy; when victim is adult; when victim is child under sixteen. (2012)
(1) Any person who with lewd, licentious or indecent intent secretly photographs, films, videotapes, records or otherwise reproduces the image of another person without the permission of such person when such a person is located in a place where a person would intend to be in a state of undress and have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, private dwellings or any facility, public or private, used as a restroom, bathroom, shower room, tanning booth, locker room, fitting room, dressing room or bedroom shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment of not more than five (5) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections, or both.
(2) Where the person who is secretly photographed, filmed, videotaped or otherwise reproduced is a child under 16 years of age, a person who violates subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) or by imprisonment of not more than 10) years in the custody of the Department of Corrections, or both.
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