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Stalking Lawyer St. Louis, MO. Laws regarding stalking are relatively new criminal charges, introduced to put a stop to the repeated harassment of victims. These laws are designed to prevent intimidation of victims or witnesses, and allow them to live without fearing they would be harmed. Previously thought of as something only the rich and famous experienced, everyday people can now press charges against those that are harassing them.
Combs Law Group understands that what actually constitutes “stalking” can occasionally be entirely in the eye of the beholder. Our firm has handled multiple stalking cases in Missouri and is well-versed in Missouri stalking laws. Call them today at (314) 900-HELP for a free, confidential case review.
Stalking Laws in Missouri
While most people believe they have a good idea of what constitutes “stalking”, it may not line up with what it is officially seen as in Missouri statutes. Here are some common questions our firm gets about stalking laws in Missouri:
- What constitutes stalking in Missouri? – Stalking is defined in Missouri law as when someone purposefully and repeatedly engages in an unwanted form of conduct that “disturbs” another person. “Disturbing” is defined as “conduct directed at a specific person that serves no legitimate purpose and that would cause a reasonable person under the circumstances to be frightened, intimidated, or emotionally distressed”. This conduct must have occurred at least twice for it to be considered “repeated”.
- What happens when someone calls law enforcement for stalking? – Missouri states that law enforcement must provide immediate aid to someone if they report someone stalking them and indicate that violence is either imminent or occurring, if someone has taken out an order of protection against the stalker, or if there has been a history of violence between the two parties in the past. If any of the above is true, the victim can be provided with transportation to a safe facility such as a shelter or medical center. They can also apply for a further restraining order if the case proceeds to trial.
- Are there different degrees of stalking charges? – Yes. First-degree stalking is, as its name would suggest, much more serious, and is only an applicable charge in a small number of situations. These include:
- if they made threats against the life and safety of a person, their loved ones, or a domestic animal
- if these threats violated a valid order of protection
- if it was an adult (21 years or older) threatening a minor (someone under the age of 18)
- if one of these actions was seen as a violation of probation or parole
- if the person accused of the threats has previously been convicted of domestic assault, violating a restraining order, or any other crime against the person accusing them
- if the person making the accusations is part of Missouri’s address confidentiality program, and the accused knowingly attempted to access their whereabouts
- Is stalking a felony in Missouri? – For a first-time offense, possibly. Second-degree stalking charges are a class A misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. First-degree stalking charges, though, are a class E felony, which carries with it up to four years in state prison. A repeat, second-degree stalking offender is also subject to class E felony charges. But if this is a repeat first-degree offense, or the person being stalked is either a law enforcement officer or their family member, it becomes a class D felony, with punishments that range from one year in county jail to seven years in state prison, plus a maximum $10,000 fine.
Talk To A Reputable St. Louis Stalking Lawyer
Whether you are looking to press charges against someone for stalking or are facing stalking charges yourself, contacting a stalking lawyer in St. Louis is an important decision. Combs Law Group fights aggressively on behalf of their clients and values communication and honesty in everything they do. Contact us today or call (314) 900-HELP for a free evaluation of your case.