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.

North Carolina

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


Stalking

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-277.3A. Stalking. (2008)
(a)  Legislative Intent. -- The General Assembly finds that stalking is a serious problem in this State and nationwide. Stalking involves severe intrusions on the victim's personal privacy and autonomy. It is a crime that causes a long-lasting impact on the victim's quality of life and creates risks to the security and safety of the victim and others, even in the absence of express threats of physical harm. Stalking conduct often becomes increasingly violent over time.

The General Assembly recognizes the dangerous nature of stalking as well as the strong connections between stalking and domestic violence and between stalking and sexual assault. Therefore, the General Assembly enacts this law to encourage effective intervention by the criminal justice system before stalking escalates into behavior that has serious or lethal consequences. The General Assembly intends to enact a stalking statute that permits the criminal justice system to hold stalkers accountable for a wide range of acts, communications, and conduct. The General Assembly recognizes that stalking includes, but is not limited to, a pattern of following, observing, or monitoring the victim, or committing violent or intimidating acts against the victim, regardless of the means.

(b)  Definitions. --  The following definitions apply in this section:

(1)  Course of conduct. --  Two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which the stalker directly, indirectly, or through third parties, by any action, method, device, or means, is in the presence of, or follows, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property.

(2)  Harasses or harassment. -- Knowing conduct, including written or printed communication or transmission, telephone, cellular, or other wireless telephonic communication, facsimile transmission, pager messages or transmissions, answering machine or voice mail messages or transmissions, and electronic mail messages or other computerized or electronic transmissions directed at a specific person that torments, terrorizes, or terrifies that person and that serves no legitimate purpose.

(3)  Reasonable person. --  A reasonable person in the victim's circumstances.

(4)  Substantial emotional distress. --  Significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.

(c)  Offense. --  A defendant is guilty of stalking if the defendant willfully on more than one occasion harasses another person without legal purpose or willfully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person without legal purpose and the defendant knows or should know that the harassment or the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to do any of the following:

(1)  Fear for the person's safety or the safety of the person's immediate family or close personal associates.

(2)  Suffer substantial emotional distress by placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment.

(d)  Classification. --  A violation of this section is a Class A1 misdemeanor. A defendant convicted of a Class A1 misdemeanor under this section, who is sentenced to a community punishment, shall be placed on supervised probation in addition to any other punishment imposed by the court. A defendant who commits the offense of stalking after having been previously convicted of a stalking offense is guilty of a Class F felony. A defendant who commits the offense of stalking when there is a court order in effect prohibiting the conduct described under this section by the defendant against the victim is guilty of a Class H felony.

(e)  Jurisdiction. --  Pursuant to G.S. 15A-134, if any part of the offense occurred within North Carolina, including the defendant's course of conduct or the effect on the victim, then the defendant may be prosecuted in this State.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-196.3. Cyberstalking. (2000)
(a)  The following definitions apply in this section:

(1)  Electronic communication. -- Any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature, transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, computer, electromagnetic, photoelectric, or photo-optical system.

(2)  Electronic mail. -- The transmission of information or communication by the use of the Internet, a computer, a facsimile machine, a pager, a cellular telephone, a video recorder, or other electronic means sent to a person identified by a unique address or address number and received by that person.

(b)  It is unlawful for a person to:

(1)  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.

(2)  Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing any person.

(3)  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 abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass.

(4)  Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person's control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(c)  Any offense under this section committed by the use of electronic mail or electronic communication may be deemed to have been committed where the electronic mail or electronic communication was originally sent, originally received in this State, or first viewed by any person in this State.

(d)  Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

(e)  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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Related Offenses

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-202. Secretly peeping into room occupied by another person. (2012)
(a) Any person who shall peep secretly into any room occupied by another person shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(a1) Unless covered by another provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who secretly or surreptitiously peeps underneath or through the clothing being worn by another person, through the use of a mirror or other device, for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person without their consent shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(b) For purposes of this section:

(1) The term "photographic image" means any photograph or photographic reproduction, still or moving, or any videotape, motion picture, or live television transmission, or any digital image of any individual.

(2) The term "room" shall include, but is not limited to, a bedroom, a rest room, a bathroom, a shower, and a dressing room.

(c) Unless covered by another provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who, while in possession of any device which may be used to create a photographic image, shall secretly peep into any room shall be guilty of a Class A1 misdemeanor.

(d) Unless covered by another provision of law providing greater punishment, any person who, while secretly peeping into any room, uses any device to create a photographic image of another person in that room for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person shall be guilty of a Class I felony.

(e) Any person who secretly or surreptitiously uses any device to create a photographic image of another person underneath or through the clothing being worn by that other person for the purpose of viewing the body of, or the undergarments worn by, that other person without their consent shall be guilty of a Class I felony.

(f) Any person who, for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person, secretly or surreptitiously uses or installs in a room any device that can be used to create a photographic image with the intent to capture the image of another without their consent shall be guilty of a Class I felony.

(g) Any person who knowingly possesses a photographic image that the person knows, or has reason to believe, was obtained in violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class I felony.

(h) Any person who disseminates or allows to be disseminated images that the person knows, or should have known, were obtained as a result of the violation of this section shall be guilty of a Class H felony if the dissemination is without the consent of the person in the photographic image.

(i) A second or subsequent felony conviction under this section shall be punished as though convicted of an offense one class higher. A second or subsequent conviction for a Class 1 misdemeanor shall be punished as a Class A1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent conviction for a Class A1 misdemeanor shall be punished as a Class I felony.

(j) If the defendant is placed on probation as a result of violation of this section:

(1) For a first conviction under this section, the judge may impose a requirement that the defendant obtain a psychological evaluation and comply with any treatment recommended as a result of that evaluation.

(2) For a second or subsequent conviction under this section, the judge shall impose a requirement that the defendant obtain a psychological evaluation and comply with any treatment recommended as a result of that evaluation.

(k) Any person whose image is captured or disseminated in violation of this section has a civil cause of action against any person who captured or disseminated the image or procured any other person to capture or disseminate the image and is entitled to recover from those persons actual damages, punitive damages, reasonable attorneys' fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred.

(l) When a person violates subsection (d), (e), (f), (g), or (h) of this section, or is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (a), (a1), or (c) of this section, the sentencing court shall consider whether the person is a danger to the community and whether requiring the person to register as a sex offender pursuant to Article 27A of this Chapter would further the purposes of that Article as stated in G.S. 14-208.5. If the sentencing court rules that the person is a danger to the community and that the person shall register, then an order shall be entered requiring the person to register.

(m) The provisions of subsections (a), (a1), (c), (e), (g), (h), and (k) of this section do not apply to:

(1) Law enforcement officers while discharging or attempting to discharge their official duties; or

(2) Personnel of the Division of Adult Correction of the Department of Public Safety, the Division of Juvenile Justice of the Department of Public Safety, or of a local confinement facility for security purposes or during investigation of alleged misconduct by a person in the custody of the Division or the local confinement facility.

(n) This section does not affect the legal activities of those who are licensed pursuant to Chapter 74C, Private Protective Services, or Chapter 74D, Alarm Systems, of the General Statutes, who are legally engaged in the discharge of their official duties within their respective professions, and who are not engaging in activities for an improper purpose as described in this section.


N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-277.1. Communicating threats. (1999)
(a)  A person is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor if without lawful authority:

(1)  He willfully threatens to physically injure the person or that person's child, sibling, spouse, or dependent or willfully threatens to damage the property of another;

(2)  The threat is communicated to the other person, orally, in writing, or by any other means;

(3)  The threat is made in a manner and under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe that the threat is likely to be carried out; and

(4)  The person threatened believes that the threat will be carried out.

(b)  A violation of this section is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-196. Using profane, indecent or threatening language to any person over telephone; annoying or harassing by repeated telephoning or making false statements over telephone. (2000)
(a)  It shall be unlawful for any person:

(1)  To use in telephonic communications any words or language of a profane, vulgar, lewd, lascivious or indecent character, nature or connotation;

(2)  To use in telephonic communications 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;

(3)  To telephone another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing or embarrassing any person at the called number;

(4)  To make a telephone call and fail to hang up or disengage the connection with the intent to disrupt the service of another;

(5)  To telephone another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct or criminal conduct of the person telephoned or of any member of his family or household with the intent to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass;

(6)  To knowingly permit any telephone under his control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(b)  Any of the above offenses may be deemed to have been committed at either the place at which the telephone call or calls were made or at the place where the telephone call or calls were received. For purposes of this section, the term "telephonic communications" shall include communications made or received by way of a telephone answering machine or recorder, telefacsimile machine, or computer modem.

(c)  Anyone violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-440.1. Unlawful operation of an audiovisual recording device. (2007)
(a)  Definitions. -- The following definitions apply to this section:

(1)  "Audiovisual recording device" means a digital or analog video camera, or any other technology or device now known or later developed, capable of recording, copying, or transmitting a motion picture, or any part thereof, regardless of whether audiovisual recording is the sole or primary purpose of the device.

(2)  "Motion picture theater" means a movie theater, screening room, or other venue that is being utilized primarily for the exhibition of a motion picture at the time of the offense.

(a1)  Misdemeanor Offense. -- Any person who knowingly operates or attempts to operate a device  capable of functioning as a digital or analog photographic camera for the purpose of recording, copying, or transmitting a part of a  motion picture not greater than one image, without the written consent of the motion picture theater owner shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

(b)  Felony Offense. -- Any person who knowingly operates or attempts to operate an audiovisual recording device in a motion picture theater to transmit, record, or otherwise make a copy of a motion picture, or any part thereof, without the written consent of the motion picture theater owner shall be guilty of a felony, punishable as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(c)  Penalty. -- A violation of subsection (b) of this section is punishable as follows:

(1)  Unless the conduct is covered under some other provision of law providing greater punishment, any person convicted of a violation of subsection (b) of this section is guilty of:

a. A Class I felony, if the violation is a first offense under this section, with a minimum fine of two thousand five hundred dollars ($ 2,500).

b.  A Class I felony, if the violation is a second or subsequent offense under this section, with a minimum fine of five thousand dollars ($ 5,000).

(2)  If a person is convicted of a violation of subsection (b) of this section, the court, in its judgment of conviction, shall order the forfeiture and destruction or other disposition of the following:

a.  All unauthorized copies of motion pictures or other audiovisual works, or any parts thereof.

b.  All implements, devices, and equipment used or intended to be used in connection with the offense.

(d)  Immunity of Certain Persons. --  The owner or lessee of a motion picture theater, or the authorized agent or employee of the owner or lessee, who detains any person shall not be held civilly liable for claims arising out of such detention, when the detention is upon the premises of the motion picture theater or in a reasonable proximity thereto, is in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length of time, and, if in detaining the person, the owner, lessee, agent, or employee had, at the time of the detention, probable cause to believe that the person committed an offense under this section. If the person being detained by the owner, lessee, agent, or employee is a minor under the age of 18 years, the owner, lessee, agent, or employee shall call or notify, or make a reasonable effort to call or notify, the parent or guardian of the minor during the period of detention. An owner, lessee, agent, or employee who makes a reasonable effort to call or notify the parent or guardian of the minor shall not be held civilly liable for failing to notify the parent or guardian of the minor.

(e)  Authorized Activities. -- This section does not prevent any lawfully authorized investigative, protective, law enforcement, or intelligence gathering employee or agent of a local, State, or federal government from operating any audiovisual recording device in a motion picture theater, as part of lawfully authorized investigative, protective, law enforcement, or intelligence gathering activities.


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