What is Stalking?
Stalking is a pattern of behavior that can be very upsetting and frightening for those who are targeted. Of course, being falsely accused of stalking can also be a frightening experience with severe long-term consequences. Unfortunately, when judges and juries are listening to both sides of a complicated series of events, it can be difficult to uncover the truth of the situation.
If you have been accused of stalking or a related offense, you need an experienced attorney who can provide detailed advice and aggressive representation. Call Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000 to discuss your rights with a knowledgeable Champaign criminal defense lawyer.
Stalking and Illinois Law
The Illinois Criminal Code defines stalking as intentionally following or monitoring another person on at least two occasions, combined with threatening behaviors. Threatening behaviors may include:
- Making direct or implied threats of assault, restraint, or bodily harm
- Making direct or implied threats to the victim’s family members
- Sending unwanted sexually explicit or threatening letters or packages to the victim
A person can be convicted of aggravated stalking if he or she commits the above offenses and physically harms or restrains the victim, or violates a restraining order.
Penalties for Stalking
Stalking is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to 3 years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000. However, if the accused has been convicted of stalking in the past, the charge can become a Class 3 felony and punished by up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $25,000. Aggravated stalking is also a Class 3 felony, and can be punished in the same way.
The consequences of a stalking conviction can follow you for the rest of your life. If you have been accused of this offense, you need assistance from a qualified Champaign defense attorney to protect your rights.