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.

West Virginia

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

W. Va. Code § 61-2-9a. Stalking; harassment; penalties; definitions. (2008)
(a)   Any person who repeatedly follows another knowing or having reason to know that the conduct causes the person followed to reasonably fear for his or her safety or suffer significant emotional distress, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be incarcerated in the county or regional jail for not more than six months or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(b)   Any person who repeatedly harasses or repeatedly makes credible threats against another is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be incarcerated in the county or regional jail for not more than six months or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(c)   Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) or (b) of this section in violation of an order entered by a circuit court, magistrate court or family court judge, in effect and entered pursuant to part 48-5-501, et seq., part 48-5-601, et seq. or 48-27-403 of this code is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be incarcerated in the county jail for not less than ninety days nor more than one year or fined not less than two thousand dollars nor more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(d)   A second or subsequent conviction for a violation of this section occurring within five years of a prior conviction is a felony punishable by incarceration in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than five years or fined not less than three thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(e)   Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, any person against whom a protective order for injunctive relief is in effect pursuant to the provisions of section five hundred one [§ 48-27-501], article twenty-seven, chapter forty-eight of this code who has been served with a copy of said order or section six hundred eight [§ 48-5-608], article five, chapter forty-eight of this code who is convicted of a violation of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a felony and punishable by incarceration in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than five years or fined not less than three thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

(f)    For the purposes of this section:

(1)  "Bodily injury" means substantial physical pain, illness or any impairment of physical condition;

(2)  "Credible threat" means a threat of bodily injury made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat and with the result that a reasonable person would believe that the threat could be carried out;

(3)  "Harasses" means willful conduct directed at a specific person or persons which would cause a reasonable person mental injury or emotional distress;

(4)  "Immediate family" means a spouse, parent, stepparent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, child, stepchild, sibling, or any person who regularly resides in the household or within the prior six months regularly resided in the household; and

(5)  "Repeatedly" means on two or more occasions.

(g)   Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent lawful assembly and petition for the lawful redress of grievances, including, but not limited to: Any labor or employment relations issue; demonstration at the seat of federal, state, county or municipal government; activities protected by the West Virginia Constitution or the United States Constitution or any statute of this State or the United States.

(h)   Any person convicted under the provisions of this section who is granted probation or for whom execution or imposition of a sentence or incarceration is suspended is to have as a condition of probation or suspension of sentence that he or she participate in counseling or medical treatment as directed by the court.

(i)  Upon conviction, the court may issue an order restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim for a period not to exceed ten years. The length of any restraining order shall be based upon the seriousness of the violation before the court, the probability of future violations, and the safety of the victim or his or her immediate family. The duration of the restraining order may be longer than five years only in cases when a longer duration is necessary to protect the safety of the victim or his or her immediate family.

(j)  It is a condition of bond for any person accused of the offense described in this section that the person is to have no contact, direct or indirect, verbal or physical, with the alleged victim.

(k)  Nothing in this section may be construed to preclude a sentencing court from exercising its power to impose home confinement with electronic monitoring as an alternative sentence.

(l)  The Governor's Committee on Crime, Delinquency and Correction, after consultation with representatives of labor, licensed domestic violence programs and rape crisis centers which meet the standards of the West Virginia Foundation for Rape Information and Services, is authorized to promulgate legislative rules and emergency rules pursuant to article three [§§ 29A-3-1 et seq.], chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, establishing appropriate standards for the enforcement of this section by state, county, and municipal law-enforcement officers and agencies.


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Related Offenses

W. Va. § 61-3C-14a.  Obscene, anonymous, harassing and threatening communications by computer; penalty. (2011)
(a) It is unlawful for any person, with the intent to harass or abuse another person, to use a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device to:

(1)  Make contact with another without disclosing his or her identity with the intent to harass or abuse;

(2) Make contact with a person after being requested by the person to desist from contacting them;

(3)  Threaten to commit a crime against any person or property; or

(4)  Cause obscene material to be delivered or transmitted to a specific person after being requested to desist from sending such material.
(b) For purposes of this section.
(1)  "Electronic communication device" means and includes a telephone, wireless phone, computer, pager or any other electronic or wireless device which is capable of transmitting a document, image, voice, e-mail or text message using such device in an electronic, digital or analog form from one person or location so it may be viewed or received by another person or persons at other locations.

(2)"Use of a computer, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device" includes, but is not limited to, the transmission of text messages, electronic mail, photographs, videos, images or other nonvoice data by means of an electronic communication system, and includes the transmission of such data, documents, messages and images to another's computer, e-mail account, mobile phone, personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device.

(3)  "Obscene material" means material that:

(A) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, is intended to appeal to the prurient interest, or is pandered to a prurient interest;

(B) An average person, applying contemporary adult community standards, would find, depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexually explicit conduct consisting of an ultimate sexual act, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, an excretory function, masturbation, lewd exhibition of the genitals, or sadomasochistic sexual abuse; and

(C)  A reasonable person would find, taken as a whole, lacks literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

(c) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly permit a computer, mobile phone or personal digital assistant or other electronic communication device under his or her control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(d) Any offense committed under this section may be determined to have occurred at the place at which the contact originated or the place at which the contact was received or intended to be received.

(e) Any person who violates a provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500 or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined. For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined.


W. Va. Code § 61-8-16. Obscene, anonymous, harassing, repeated and threatening telephone calls; penalty. (2011)
(a)   It is unlawful for any person with intent to harass or abuse another by means of telephone to:

(1)  Make any comment, request, suggestion or proposal which is obscene; or

(2)  Make a telephone call, whether or not conversation ensues, without disclosing his or her identity and with intent to harass any person at the called number; or

(3)  Make or cause the telephone of another repeatedly or continuously to ring, with intent to harass any person at the called number; or

(4)  Make repeated telephone calls, during which conversation ensues, with intent to harass any person at the called number; or

(5) Threaten to commit a crime against any person or property.
(b)  It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly permit any telephone under his or her control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(c)   Any offense committed under this section may be deemed to have occurred at the place at which the telephone call was made, or the place at which the telephone call was received.

(d)   Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $500, or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined.


W. Va. Code § 61-8-28. Criminal invasion of privacy; penalties. (2000)
(a)  For the purposes of this section, the words or terms defined in this subsection have the meanings ascribed to them. These definitions are applicable unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:

(1)  "A person fully or partially nude" means a male or female who is either clothed or unclothed so that: (A) All or any part of his or her genitals, pubic area or buttocks is visible; or (B) in the case of a female only, a part of a nipple of her breast is visible and is without a fully opaque covering;

(2)  "To visually portray" a person means to create a reproducible image of that person by means of:

(A) A photograph;

(B)  A motion picture;

(C)  A video tape;

(D)  digital recording; or

(E)  Any other mechanical or electronic recording process or device that can preserve, for later viewing, a visual image of a person; and

(3)  "Place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy" means a place where a reasonable person would believe that he or she could, in privacy, be fully or partially nude without expecting that the act of exposing his or her body was being visually portrayed by another person.

(b)  It is unlawful for a person to knowingly visually portray another person without that other person's knowledge, while that other person is fully or partially nude and is in a place where a reasonable person would have an expectation of privacy. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be confined in a county or regional jail for not more than one year or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(c)  Any person who displays or distributes visual images of another person with knowledge that said visual images were obtained in violation of subsection (b) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be confined in a county or regional jail for not more than one year or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

(d)  A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (b) or (c) of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be confined in a state correctional facility for not less than one year nor more than five years or fined not more than ten thousand dollars, or both.

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