Stalking is a term that is used quite often, but it is frequently used incorrectly. In today’s society, it is sometimes difficult to understand what is truly considered stalking. In general terms, “stalking” is defined as “any person who willfully harasses another person or a family or household member of such person with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten, or intimidate.” Stalking charges can have a serious impact on your life and future. Understanding your rights and appropriate actions when facing a stalking charge is sometimes difficult, and an experienced defense attorney can help defend your reputation and future.
What is Considered Stalking?
Stalking can take place over a period of time and can even be a series of individual actions. Laws that restrict stalking are gender-neutral and define no specific restrictions based on gender. Some examples of aspects of stalking can include, but are not limited to:
- Following a person or showing up wherever they are.
- Sending unwanted items to a person.
- Damaging personal property.
- Monitoring technology use.
- Threaten to hurt a person or their loved ones.
- Spend time by their place of residence or work.
The penalties for a stalking conviction depend on whether a person is charged at the federal or state level and the severity of the stalking case. Each stalking charge caries its own penalties.
Nebraska Stalking Laws
In Nebraska, according to Nebraska Revised Statute 28-311.03, stalking is defined as:
“any person who willfully harasses another person or a family or household
member of such person with the intent to injure, terrify, threaten, or intimidate.”
The law of the state considers both the actions of the stalker and experience of the victim.
In Nebraska, stalking is considered a Class I misdemeanor and individuals charged with stalking face up to one year in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. The penalties for stalking in Nebraska also vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. Circumstances impacting the penalty include:
- Prior stalking conviction or other similar conviction in the past seven years.
- Age of the victim. If the victim is under the age of sixteen, a more severe charge may occur.
- Use of a deadly weapon.
- The person was also violating a harassment protection order, sexual harassment protection order, protection order, ex parte protection order, or a foreign harassment/sexual assault protection order.
- Previous felony convictions.
If any of these occur, the accused will be charged with a Class IIIA felony and could face up to five years imprisonment and/or up to $10,000 in fines.
What to do When Accused?
Stalking is a very serious charge that carries large penalties that could disrupt your future. The first step to always take when charged with a crime is to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. In a stalking case, it is important that you do not reach out to the accuser after charges have been filed. It also may be in your best interest to consult an attorney prior to speaking to law enforcement.
Berry Law’s Criminal Defense Attorneys
Berry Law team of criminal defense attorneys have experience defending individuals accused of stalking. Understanding your rights and the rights of the victim is important in a stalking case. Berry Law’s defense attorneys can assist you in fighting your stalking charge and can help you protect your reputation and your future. If you have been charged with stalking, contact Berry Law’s team of defense attorneys today.