Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence in California: What Constitutes Stalking?

By March 12, 2019 March 15th, 2019 No Comments

Stalking has become a much more common word these days describing the advances of an unwanted suitor—or any individual—and especially with the freedom afforded by the internet to find out information about other people. It is true that ‘Google never forgets,’ and while some may deliberately put themselves out there online for career, marketing, and social purposes, they may also be leaving a long trail of cyber breadcrumbs that make it easy for others to follow.

While it has become common to say that someone is a ‘stalker’ simply because they call or come by your home too much, this is a serious accusation. Stalking laws in California are tough, with Penal Code 646.9 stating that a stalker is defined as:

“Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.”

This can also apply to anyone who has violated a restraining order. Repeat offenders as stalkers may be incarcerated for years. In so many cases, stalking occurs after a romantic relationship—or one that is hoped for—has ended. While it may be normal to wondering what your ex is doing after you have broken up, whether they are home, whether they are with someone else, and more, the last thing you want is the humiliation of being accused of stalking them.

If ‘love’ has turned into negative obsession and problems with control, stalking may be a concern. If you are concerned that someone may be asking about you to pinpoint your whereabouts on a consistent basis, using tracking devices, running into you on purpose, or if you are uncomfortable with constant phone calls, appearances, and even gifts left after verbally or emotionally abusive encounters, reach out for help. Conversely, are you worried that you may be unable to stop stalking someone? If your behavior has become compulsive, get help before you end up in legal trouble!

We are here to help, however, if you have been accused of stalking, or arrested in connection with these types of activities. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws and our office will provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call the Dolan Law Offices at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.