Michigan Stalking Defense Lawyer
“Stalking” means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested
In order to obtain a conviction for stalking, a Michigan prosecutor must prove the following elements:
- A person willfully, maliciously and repeatedly followed or harassed another
- A person made a credible threat either verbally, in writing or by any electronic communication (Cyberstalking)
- A person did so with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or for the safety of their immediate family.
Cyberstalking and Cyberharassment
There are specific Michigan laws that govern stalking via the Internet and have misdemeanor and felony ramifications:
- Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet, email or other electronic communications to stalk, and generally refers to a pattern of threatening or malicious behaviors (see Michigan Penal Code MCL 750.411h).
- Cyberharassment differs from cyberstalking in that it may generally be defined as not involving a credible threat. Cyberharassment usually pertains to threatening or harassing email messages, instant messages, or to blog entries or websites dedicated solely to tormenting an individual (see Michigan Penal Code MCL 750.411s). Cyberbullying and cyberharassment are sometimes used interchangeably, but cyberbullying generally refers to electronic harassment or bullying among minors within a school context and has policies enforced by the Michigan State Board of Education.
Misdemeanor and Felony Stalking Penalties
- Misdemeanor Stalking conviction - up to one year in prison and possible fines of up to $1,000. Additionally, if the victim is a minor, you could face up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000
- Felony Stalking conviction - up to 5 years in prison, fines of up to $15,000, and additional probation. If the victim was under 18 years of age at the time of the offense, your jail time could double
If you are under investigation or you have been charged with Stalking, it is important to have a clear understanding of your rights and defense options. As a former Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer, I possess the knowledge and experience required to help my clients protect their rights and minimize the impact of a criminal allegation.
To schedule an initial consultation, call me at Leslie Posner Law toll free (866-697-7404), locally 313-628-4711 or contact my law firm online today by filling out the form on the Contact page. I will help you understand your best options and protect your rights.