Stalking can take many different forms. It involves following someone around by driving in the car and watching their home and place of business or making calls and verbal threats. Stalking can be physical or cyber stalking on the Internet. Sometimes a person can be stalked in both ways. Cyber stalking is using the Internet and other electronic communications to threaten and harass a person. All states have stalking laws but they vary from state to state. It is not an easy crime to prosecute. Learn about California Stalking Laws!
California stalking laws are considered the toughest in the nation. They were designed due to the murder of an actress Rebecca Schaeffer. In California stalking is defined as maliciously following a person around and threatening them.
California stalking laws define stalking as following the victim around and watching their home or work place. Making repeated phone calls and sending emails, gathering information, and talking to friends and coworkers about the person using what you have learned to hurt them. Sometimes a person will try to find out where the person lives and their likes and dislikes using the Internet.
Other types of stalking are sending gifts and notes when the person has made it clear they are not interested. Repeatedly driving by a person’s home and damaging property. There is also intimate partner stalking laws in California where this is committed against your spouse, former spouse, or parent or child. These are a few definitions of California stalking laws.
In recent years cyber stalking has become prevalent due to the Internet. This medium can shield the identity of the stalker. Online they can send threatening emails, hack into person’s account changing passwords, posting messages on bulletin boards, and change social information. Sometimes they try to contact the victim by using a false identify.
Penalties for stalking in California are informal probation, one year in a county jail, fines, counseling and confinement to the state hospital. Also, another penalty is a restraining order prohibiting contact with the victim. Felony convictions include formal probation, 16 month to five years in California prison, fines, and counseling. Sometimes a restraining order is instituted not allowing stalkers to contact the victim.
California Stalking Laws: Tips on What to Do About A Stalker
Keep a record of incidents letters, phone calls, seeing the person constantly near your home or where you go. This can be used as evidence if you need to contact the police for help. Keeping a log of incidents gives the incident more credibility. If you are receiving phone calls or text messages tell the stalker clearly you do not want to hear from them. Block the email address if you know the stalker.
State clearly that you feel their action are harassment if they send threatening and harmful emails. Once you inform the person never respond to their emails or text message again. Some offenders will cease and stop bothering you. Don’t reply to text messages or emails this keeps the person going.
Have a cell phone and show a trusted friend or someone the messages and photos that the person sent you. When necessary get an unlisted number and change your email address so that they cannot contact you again. When you get a new email or phone number only give it to trusted individuals. If they leave messages on your cell phone they can be used as evidence against the stalker.
If you know the identify of the stalker tell family and friends about the problem. Tell people not to give out personal information about you to anyone. It may seem like an innocent request but often it is not. At home and work screen phone calls When packages come to your home do not open them if they do not have a return address.
Do not give out too much information on social networks. Keep the information private so you can protect yourself from potential stalkers. Try to avoid being alone and often when someone sees you always have company will lose interest. Avoid sticking to routine schedules vary the restaurants, gas stations, and place you go.
When at school report the problem to a teacher or counselor. Tell your parents or trusted adults about the problem so they can help you.