Did you know that laws criminalizing stalking are relatively new? The first anti-stalking law wasn’t passed until the 1990s! Let’s discuss the legal components of stalking.
What is Stalking According to Illinois Law?
In general, stalking occurs when an individual behaves in a way that makes another individual fearful for their safety or causes them to suffer emotional distress. Additionally, for the alleged offense to be considered stalking, this threatening behavior must occur over time (two or more occasions).
It is also considered stalking if an individual follows or surveils another person at least two separate times in a way that makes the other person feel concerned or intimidated.
Common behaviors that are considered stalking include:
- Sending threatening texts or e-mails
- Damaging property
- Leaving unwanted gifts or objects for another person
- Approaching the person at their workplace, school, or another public place
Stalking may be elevated to an aggravated offense if the alleged stalker:
- Caused the alleged victim bodily harm
- Violated court orders while following or contacting the alleged victim
- Restrained or trapped the alleged victim
No-Contact Orders for Stalking
If an individual believes that you have been stalking them, they may file a stalking no-contact order (SNCO) against you. This prevents you from contacting them in person or online, being physically near them, among other restrictions.
In order for the alleged victim to be granted an SNCO against you, they must meet the standard of proof requirement. In stalking cases, this is ‘proof by a preponderance of evidence.’ This means that the individual will be granted the SNCO if the court believes there is over a 50% chance of the claims against you being true.
Stalking No-Contact Order Hearings
If someone has been granted a stalking no-contact order against you, you may be able to attend a hearing to contest the order. You may choose to do this if you believe that the order was requested in bad faith or you had no intention of stalking the individual. What one person considers to be stalking may differ greatly from another person’s perception. You deserve to explain your side of the story at a hearing.
Chicago No-Contact Order Defense
If you have recently been notified of a no-contact order filed against you and/or are facing criminal charges in connection to the order, contact The Toney Law Firm, LLC. We are passionate about protecting the rights of those accused of committing crimes. Give us a call today at (888) 473-4058.