Stalking is a serious criminal matter that must be addressed promptly when you find out that you have been accused of it. There are several points that you need to know when it comes to this charge. Knowing these might help you avoid a charge or fight one that is pending against you.

First, this is a fairly new charge that doesn’t have a lot of precedent to fall back on. This makes it a challenge to come up with a defense plan because you can’t look at what has worked in the past. Instead, you have to rely on your attorney’s experience.

Second, stalking isn’t a one-time only event. There is a good chance that you won’t fact stalking charges because you walked behind someone who was on his or her way home. If you consistently follow someone from work to home in a malicious manner, you might end up facing this charge.

Third, many stalking crimes are related to domestic violence. For this reason, you shouldn’t try to follow, harass or constantly contact someone with whom you aren’t in a relationship any longer. Even if the person is your spouse and you aren’t divorced but the relationship is over, you can be charged with stalking if you behave in a manner consistent with the charge.

Oftentimes, a stalking charge will come with a protective order. This means that you will be ordered to avoid contacting the victim, even through another person. If you are ordered to stay away, you need to make sure you comply so that you don’t end up facing more criminal charges in relation to the matter.

Source: FindLaw, “Stalking,” accessed Dec. 22, 2017