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What are stalking and domestic violence crimes?

By | Domestic Violence

Stalking of an individual refers to the act of following the victim or monitoring them and may include harassment and intimidation. It is an undesired or obsessive attention towards an individual by another individual or group. The term stalking is used in some legal jurisdictions as a criminal activity.

Stalking and Domestic Violence

Stalking can also be related to domestic violence in which the victim is being stalked by the estranged or separated spouse or partner. The act of stalking involves behaviors like:

  • Intimidating, harassing or threatening the victim through phone calls or emails etc.
  • Following the victim or shadowing them
  • Uninformed appearances at the victim’s home or place of employment
  • Damaging the property of the victim
  • Doing activities that intimidates the victim and increases concerns about their safety

Types of Stalking

There are three different categories of stalking:

Erotomania – This type of stalking involves a delusional obsession with a celebrity or a public figure who is mostly out of reach of the stalker.

Love Obsessional – This type of stalking involves individuals who become obsessed with any individual with whom they didn’t have any intimate or close relationship. The victim may be a friend, a person met only once, or even a complete stranger.

Simple Obsessional – This type of stalking is done by stalkers who has previously been involved in an intimate relationship with their victims. In most of the cases, the victim has attempted to get out of the relationship but the stalker does not allow the victim to leave. Such stalkers suffer from different personality disorders. They may as well be emotionally immature, extremely jealous, insecure and have low self-esteem. They stalk their victim with the goal of reconciliation and they often feel powerless without the relationship and they think they won’t survive without the relationship.

Domestic violence stalking comes under this category of stalking which is done by ex-husband or lover or a co-worker or employer. Approximately 30% of the cases fall into this category in the US.

The crime of stalking is defined differently and has different laws for it in different states of the US. However, the requirements to label an act as criminal stalking are listed as under:

  • Intent requirement – There should be a proof that the stalker intended the consequences of his actions.
  • Standard Fear – Some of the states require that the behavior of the stalker must cause the victim to fear.
  • Threat – Some states require that the stalker poses a credible threat to the victim. Implicit threats are mostly very hard to prove in court. They are mostly experienced by victims who had an intimate relationship with the stalker previously.
  • Target of the Stalker’s Act – Mostly, this is also a requirement that the actions of the stalker pose a threat to any person close to the victim like their children, current spouse or any other family member.
  • Crime Classification – Some states classify stalking as a felony when it is reported for the first time and is actually done for the first time. Mostly, it is classified as a felony when the offense is done a second time and involves aggravating factors. The factors that aggravate the situation include possession of a weapon by the stalker, stalking someone under 16 years of age, the same victim being stalked again and again, or violation of a court order.

Author Bio:

Jacobs Jacobs & Edmison, LLP caters all your legal needs from Estate Planning, Bankruptcy, Tax Law throughout Arkansas. Call now (501) 254-0311.

Debunking Four Myths About Domestic Violence in Florida

By | Domestic Violence

When it comes to the prosecution of domestic violence in Florida, there are a lot of myths swirling around.

Many people erroneously believe that domestic violence charges are completely in the hands of the victim, a personal matter that can be erased and forgotten easily if the victim forgives the perpetrator – this is not the case. It is also not the case that all crimes have only one ‘victim’ – issues of domestic violence can be multilayered and complex. Are you confused about the intricacies of Florida domestic violence charges? Read ahead for valuable clarifying information.

Here are four myths about the crime of domestic violence in the state of Florida 

1. We made up/ got back together, so everything is forgotten – While you and your significant other may have patched things up and moved on from this incident, the law does not work so simply. If law enforcement agents were involved in any way, the state may choose to prosecute the perpetrator. This decision is complex, and you will need a skilled and experienced Florida domestic violence lawyer in order to help you navigate these charges.

2. My partner does not want to move forward with charges, so I am in the clear – As with point number one above, once law enforcement agents have gotten involved, your partner’s opinions about pressing charges may no longer matter. If the police officers and district attorney feel that there is enough evidence to convict you, they may move ahead without your partner’s cooperation. Your lawyer may be able to have the case thrown out – consult with Ms. Boan about your specific circumstances.

3. What happens in our relationship is our business alone – While your individual disputes, arguments and relationship ups and downs are certainly your own business, the minute they cross over into the criminal sphere this is no longer the case. This can include domestic violence in all forms, sexual assault, kidnapping (holding your partner against their will), verbal threats, stalking and the abuse of pets.

4. I am always entitled to enter my own home – Even if your partner or the state have not sought to press charges against you, you may be served with a restraining order (also known as a domestic violence injunction). If this is the case, you will be required to stay away from your partner at all times, and this will include your shared residence. If you are served with a domestic violence injunction, an officer will accompany you to your home to pick up supplies, but you will be required to maintain a minimum distance for the duration of the order.

Have you been accused of domestic violence? You need skilled, professional representation – call or email Whitney S. Boan to learn more about and how she can help you with your case.