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4 Reasons You May Have Been Charged With Criminal Stalking

Property Damage
Criminal stalking is a serious crime in the state of Indiana. When one person knowingly and intentionally engages in harassing behavior (two or more times) that results in distress on the part of the victim; they can be charged with this crime.

The scariest thing about this type of behavior is that people sometimes engage in stalking behaviors without thoroughly thinking the situation through. If you have been charged with stalking and you're confused as to why learn some of the harassing actions that may have put you in this situation.  

1. Physical Interaction

Physical interaction or engagement is the most recognizable form of criminal stalking. A person that repeatedly shows up to another person's home or their place of work is thought to be engaging in a form of physical harassment by stalking. This unwanted physical interaction is still considered criminal, even if there is no protective order in place.

When the person you are harassing demanded that you stop, and you fail to do so, you may have crossed the line and opened the door to legal repercussions. In addition to a criminal stalking charge, it is not unheard for the antagonist to face additional criminal charges in this instance if the interaction is violent in nature.

2. Property Damage

It is possible to stalk and harass an individual without ever communicating with them in the traditional sense. A person that uses property damage as a means to send a message or harass another individual could be guilty of this charge.

Intentionally defacing someone's vehicle is an example of this form of stalking, such as busting out the windows or creating scratches on its exterior. Intentionally causing damage to the victims' home is another form of stalking. Remember, the legal threshold for this crime is emotional distress.

If the damage causes pain or suffering, your actions could meet the criminal threshold.

3. Victim Monitoring

Every person deserves a certain level of privacy. When another person takes it upon themselves to monitor another person, without their permission, this could be classified as criminal stalking. For example, if someone were to place a GPS monitoring app on another person's phone, this is harassing behavior.

Even more seemingly innocent practices, such as using online record searches to gain information about someone else can be perceived as harassment, especially if the victim has clearly asked you to stop engaging in this behavior. The use of recording devices to monitor the actions of another person is also a form of harassment.

4. Unwelcomed Communication

With the advancements in technology, there are so many ways to communicate with other people without ever uttering a word from your mouth. If you engaged in unwelcomed communication with the victim, even if not verbally, you may still face an uphill battle in proving your claim.

Social media posts, both direct messages and post on your own page, text messages and emails can all be used to harass another person, especially if you're sharing false information or engaging in aggressive conversations. Anytime your actions harm the victim in any way, you are engaging in dangerous behavior.

The most important thing to remember in this situation is not the intention of your actions, but the effect your actions had on the victim. If you have harmed the victim, this is problematic. A conviction for a criminal stalking charge could lead to years behind bars and fines that exceed $10,000.

If you have been charged with this form of harassment, you need to take the charges seriously. You need a dedicated attorney on your team to help you through this process, and Ronald K. Smith has just the dedication you need.