Scrofano Law PC/MD Crim Lawyer: Maryland Stalking Lawyer
If a person is found guilty of stalking, that person stands the possibility of being convicted of a misdemeanor and receiving a sentence of up to five years in jail and/or a fine of no more than $5,000.
Maryland Stalking Attorney
In Maryland, stalking is a serious criminal offense with significant legal consequences. In such a situation, you need an experienced and knowledgeable Maryland Stalking lawyer on your side. Criminal stalking involves malicious conduct that would cause a reasonable individual to feel fear, intimidation, or harassment.
The act of stalking may manifest in several ways, such as unwanted calls, messages, or pictures, sending gifts, and damaging the victim’s property. The stalker may watch, follow, or approach the victim and threaten physical harm. Thus, stalking is a severe and dangerous act that can cause the victim emotional distress and physical harm, and it carries significant penalties.
The majority of stalkers are not unknown but rather people who are familiar to the victim. It is typically committed by the victim’s present or past abusive partner. As a means of demonstrating dominance, stalking is a way for these partners to control the victim before, during, and after the relationship.
It is crucial to seek the help of a top-rated domestic violence lawyer if you or someone you know has been accused of stalking.
Maryland’s Stalking Law
“Stalking,” as defined under § 3-802 of the Maryland Criminal Code, is a malicious conduct that involves approaching or pursuing another with the intent of placing or knowing that it would place another in reasonable fear of bodily injury, false imprisonment, sexual offenses, or death. This may also include the possibility that a third party may suffer any of these acts.
Stalking can be committed in various ways, including the following ways:
Using electronic communications or mediums, including the internet, telephones, mobile devices, etc.
Using a device to track another’s location without their knowledge or consent.
Process and Penalties Involved During Stalking Lawsuits
In Maryland, stalking arrests and court proceedings can be confusing. If arrested, you will be taken into police custody and taken to a judge for a bail hearing. Your lawyer can assist you through this process.
In Maryland, stalking is a misdemeanor punishable by a 5-year maximum prison sentence and a $5,000 fine. You may be charged with stalking in addition to other crimes, depending on the circumstances of the crime.
If convicted of stalking and any additional crimes, the sentence may be imposed separately or concurrently with all other sentences related to the crime.
Harassment Laws in Maryland
A person violates Section 3-803 and is guilty of harassment if they engage in a malicious course of conduct (similar to stalking) or if they follow the victim around in a public place in a way that causes the victim to become alarmed or seriously irritated, and they do so:
- After being requested or warned to stop by the victim or by someone on their behalf
- To harass, annoy, or alarm a victim
- Without a legal reason for the conduct.
Communication of political viewpoints or providing information to others as part of a peaceful activity is not covered by the harassment laws in Maryland.
Harassment is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. An accused who has previously been convicted of harassment faces up to 180 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Possible to Face Stalking Charges if I didn’t mean to Cause Harm or Fear?
No, if you do not intend to cause fear or harm, you cannot be charged with stalking in Maryland. As part of the definition of “stalking,” the offender must act with intent, putting the victim in a “reasonable” fear of harm. Often, this is a difficult element to prove. It is not enough to be around the victim or go to places where the victim frequently goes. Additionally, the fear purported by the victim must be reasonable.
What Is a Protective Order in Maryland Law?
A protective order is a legal document issued by a Maryland court that prohibits one individual from contacting or interacting with another. The purpose of protective orders is to protect the victim from further harm.
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