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.

Utah

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

Also See: Utah Stalking Order of Protection

Analyzing Stalking Laws


Stalking

Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-106.5. Stalking -- Definitions -- Injunction -- Penalties. (2012)
(1) As used in this section:

(a) "Conviction" means:

(i) a verdict or conviction;

(ii) a plea of guilty or guilty and mentally ill;

(iii) a plea of no contest; or

(iv) the acceptance by the court of a plea in abeyance.

(b) "Course of conduct" means two or more acts directed at or toward a specific person, including:

(i) acts in which the actor follows, monitors, observes, photographs, surveils, threatens, or communicates to or about a person, or interferes with a person's property:

(A) directly, indirectly, or through any third party; and

(B) by any action, method, device, or means; or

(ii) when the actor engages in any of the following acts or causes someone else to engage in any of these acts:

(A) approaches or confronts a person;

(B) appears at the person's workplace or contacts the person's employer or coworkers;

(C) appears at a person's residence or contacts a person's neighbors, or enters property owned, leased, or occupied by a person;

(D) sends material by any means to the person or for the purpose of obtaining or disseminating information about or communicating with the person to a member of the person's family or household, employer, coworker, friend, or associate of the person;

(E) places an object on or delivers an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by a person, or to the person's place of employment with the intent that the object be delivered to the person; or

(F) uses a computer, the Internet, text messaging, or any other electronic means to commit an act that is a part of the course of conduct.

(c) "Immediate family" means a spouse, parent, child, sibling, or any other person who regularly resides in the household or who regularly resided in the household within the prior six months.

(d) "Emotional distress" means significant mental or psychological suffering, whether or not medical or other professional treatment or counseling is required.

(e) "Reasonable person" means a reasonable person in the victim's circumstances.

(f) "Stalking" means an offense as described in Subsection (2) or (3).

(g) "Text messaging" means a communication in the form of electronic text or one or more electronic images sent by the actor from a telephone or computer to another person's telephone or computer by addressing the communication to the recipient's telephone number.

(2) A person is guilty of stalking who intentionally or knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person and knows or should know that the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person:

(a) to fear for the person's own safety or the safety of a third person; or

(b) to suffer other emotional distress.

(3) A person is guilty of stalking who intentionally or knowingly violates:

(a) a stalking injunction issued pursuant to Title 77, Chapter 3a, Stalking Injunctions; or

(b) a permanent criminal stalking injunction issued pursuant to this section.

(4) In any prosecution under this section, it is not a defense that the actor:

(a) was not given actual notice that the course of conduct was unwanted; or

(b) did not intend to cause the victim fear or other emotional distress.

(5) An offense of stalking may be prosecuted under this section in any jurisdiction where one or more of the acts that is part of the course of conduct was initiated or caused an effect on the victim.

(6) Stalking is a class A misdemeanor:

(a) upon the offender's first violation of Subsection (2); or

(b) if the offender violated a stalking injunction issued pursuant to Title 77, Chapter 3a, Stalking Injunctions.

(7) Stalking is a third degree felony if the offender:

(a) has been previously convicted of an offense of stalking;

(b) has been previously convicted in another jurisdiction of an offense that is substantially similar to the offense of stalking;

(c) has been previously convicted of any felony offense in Utah or of any crime in another jurisdiction which if committed in Utah would be a felony, in which the victim of the stalking offense or a member of the victim's immediate family was also a victim of the previous felony offense;

(d) violated a permanent criminal stalking injunction issued pursuant to Subsection (9); or

(e) has been or is at the time of the offense a cohabitant, as defined in Section 78B-7-102, of the victim.

(8) Stalking is a second degree felony if the offender:

(a) used a dangerous weapon as defined in Section 76-1-601 or used other means or force likely to produce death or serious bodily injury, in the commission of the crime of stalking;

(b) has been previously convicted two or more times of the offense of stalking;

(c) has been convicted two or more times in another jurisdiction or jurisdictions of offenses that are substantially similar to the offense of stalking;

(d) has been convicted two or more times, in any combination, of offenses under Subsection (7)(a), (b), or (c);

(e) has been previously convicted two or more times of felony offenses in Utah or of crimes in another jurisdiction or jurisdictions which, if committed in Utah, would be felonies, in which the victim of the stalking was also a victim of the previous felony offenses; or

(f) has been previously convicted of an offense under Subsection (7)(d) or (e).


(9)

(a) A conviction for stalking or a plea accepted by the court and held in abeyance for a period of time serves as an application for a permanent criminal stalking injunction limiting the contact between the defendant and the victim.

(b) A permanent criminal stalking injunction shall be issued by the court at the time of the conviction. The court shall give the defendant notice of the right to request a hearing.

(c) If the defendant requests a hearing under Subsection (9)(b), it shall be held at the time of the conviction unless the victim requests otherwise, or for good cause.

(d) If the conviction was entered in a justice court, a certified copy of the judgment and conviction or a certified copy of the court's order holding the plea in abeyance shall be filed by the victim in the district court as an application and request for a hearing for a permanent criminal stalking injunction.

(10) A permanent criminal stalking injunction shall be issued by the district court granting the following relief where appropriate:

(a) an order:

(i) restraining the defendant from entering the residence, property, school, or place of employment of the victim; and

(ii) requiring the defendant to stay away from the victim, except as provided in Subsection (11), and to stay away from any specified place that is named in the order and is frequented regularly by the victim;

(b) an order restraining the defendant from making contact with or regarding the victim, including an order forbidding the defendant from personally or through an agent initiating any communication, except as provided in Subsection (11), likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the victim, including personal, written, or telephone contact with or regarding the victim, with the victim's employers, employees, coworkers, friends, associates, or others with whom communication would be likely to cause annoyance or alarm to the victim; and

(c) any other orders the court considers necessary to protect the victim and members of the victim's immediate family or household.

(11) If the victim and defendant have minor children together, the court may consider provisions regarding the defendant's exercise of custody and parent-time rights while ensuring the safety of the victim and any minor children. If the court issues a permanent criminal stalking injunction, but declines to address custody and parent-time issues, a copy of the stalking injunction shall be filed in any action in which custody and parent-time issues are being considered and that court may modify the injunction to balance the parties' custody and parent-time rights.

(12) Except as provided in Subsection (11), a permanent criminal stalking injunction may be modified, dissolved, or dismissed only upon application of the victim to the court which granted the injunction.

(13) Notice of permanent criminal stalking injunctions issued pursuant to this section shall be sent by the court to the statewide warrants network or similar system.

(14) A permanent criminal stalking injunction issued pursuant to this section has effect statewide.

(15)

(a) Violation of an injunction issued pursuant to this section constitutes a third degree felony offense of stalking under Subsection (7).

(b) Violations may be enforced in a civil action initiated by the stalking victim, a criminal action initiated by a prosecuting attorney, or both.

(16) This section does not preclude the filing of a criminal information for stalking based on the same act which is the basis for the violation of the stalking injunction issued pursuant to Title 77, Chapter 3a, Stalking Injunctions, or a permanent criminal stalking injunction.


Back to Top



Harassment

Utah Code Ann. § 76-5-106. Harassment. (1995)
(1)  A person is guilty of harassment if, with intent to frighten or harass another, he communicates a written or recorded threat to commit any violent felony.

(2)  Harassment is a class B misdemeanor.


Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-201. Electronic communication harassment -- Definitions -- Penalties. (2009)
(1)  As used in this section:

(a) "Adult" means a person 18 years of age or older.

(b)  "Electronic communication" means any communication by electronic, electro-mechanical, or electro-optical communication device for the transmission and reception of audio, image, or text but does not include broadcast transmissions or similar communications that are not targeted at any specific individual.

(c)  "Electronic communication device" includes telephone, facsimile, electronic mail, or pager.

(d)  "Minor" means a person who is younger than 18 years of age.

 (2)  A person is guilty of electronic communication harassment and subject to prosecution in the jurisdiction where the communication originated or was received if with intent to annoy, alarm, intimidate, offend, abuse, threaten, harass, frighten, or disrupt the electronic communications of another, the person:

(a)
(i)  makes repeated contact by means of electronic communications, whether or not a conversation ensues; or

(ii) after the recipient has requested or informed the person not to contact the recipient, and the person repeatedly or continuously:

(A) contacts the electronic communication device of the recipient; or

(B) causes an electronic communication device of the recipient to ring or to receive other notification of attempted contact by means of electronic communication;

(b)  makes contact by means of electronic communication and insults, taunts, or challenges the recipient of the communication or any person at the receiving location in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response;

(c)  makes contact by means of electronic communication and threatens to inflict injury, physical harm, or damage to any person or the property of any person; or

(d)  causes disruption, jamming, or overload of an electronic communication system through excessive message traffic or other means utilizing an electronic communication device.

 (3) 
(a)
(i) Electronic communication harassment committed against an adult is a class B misdemeanor, except under Subsection (3)(a)(ii).

(ii) A second or subsequent offense under Subsection (3)(a)(i) is a:

(A) class A misdemeanor if all prior violations of this section were committed against adults; and

(B) a third degree felony if any prior violation of this section was committed against a minor. 

(b)
(i) Electronic communication harassment committed against a minor is a class A misdemeanor, except under Subsection (3)(b)(ii).

(ii) A second or subsequent offense under Subsection (3)(b)(i) is a third degree felony, regardless of whether any prior violation of this section was committed against a minor or an adult.

(4) 
(a)  Except under Subsection (4)(b), criminal prosecution under this section does not affect an individual's right to bring a civil action for damages suffered as a result of the commission of any of the offenses under this section.

(b)  This section does not create any civil cause of action based on electronic communications made for legitimate business purposes.

Back to Top


Related Offenses

Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-402. Privacy violation. (1973)
(1)  A person is guilty of privacy violation if, except as authorized by law, he:

(a)  Trespasses on property with intent to subject anyone to eavesdropping or other surveillance in a private place; or

(b)  Installs in any private place, without the consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy there, any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events in the place or uses any such unauthorized installation; or

(c)  Installs or uses outside of a private place any device for hearing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds originating in the place which would not ordinarily be audible or comprehensible outside, without the consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy there.

 (2)  Privacy violation is a class B misdemeanor.

Utah Code Ann. § 76-9-702.7. Voyeurism offenses -- Penalties. (2004)
(1)  A person is guilty of voyeurism who intentionally uses a camcorder, motion picture camera, photographic camera of any type, or other equipment that is concealed or disguised to secretly or surreptitiously videotape, film, photograph, record, or view by electronic means an individual:

(a)  for the purpose of viewing any portion of the individual's body regarding which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether or not that portion of the body is covered with clothing;

(b)  without the knowledge or consent of the individual; and

(c)  under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

 (2)  A violation of Subsection (1) is a class A misdemeanor, except that a violation of Subsection (1) committed against a child under 14 years of age is a third degree felony.

(3)  Distribution or sale of any images, including in print, electronic, magnetic, or digital format, obtained under Subsection (1) by transmission, display, or dissemination is a third degree felony, except that if the violation of this Subsection (3) includes images of a child under 14 years of age, the violation is a second degree felony.

(4)  A person is guilty of voyeurism who, under circumstances not amounting to a violation of Subsection (1), views or attempts to view an individual, with or without the use of any instrumentality:

(a)  with the intent of viewing any portion of the individual's body regarding which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy, whether or not that portion of the body is covered with clothing;

(b)  without the knowledge or consent of the individual; and

(c)  under circumstances in which the individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.

(5)  A violation of Subsection (4) is a class B misdemeanor, except that a violation of Subsection (4) committed against a child under 14 years of age is a class A misdemeanor.

Back to Top