It may start out innocent or seemingly benign. After all, most of us don’t mind a little extra attention now and again. It could be some text messages, flowers or a wink on eHarmony. All three of those instances are generally legal, assuming they don't occur in excess.
But what about unwanted contact that starts to feel threatening or dangerous? We're talking about seriously threatening behavior. Fortunately, Wyoming has laws designed to protect citizens from stalkers. This is a brief introduction to stalking laws in Wyoming.
Stalking Statutes in Wyoming
State laws regarding stalking will differ depending on where you live. The chart below highlights some of Wyoming's anti-stalking statutes.
|Stalking Defined as
||With intent to harass, conduct was likely to harass by communication, following, placing under surveillance, or otherwise harassing
||Misdemeanor: jail maximum 6 months and/or fine maximum $750. If caused serious bodily harm or violates probation, parole or bail or violates temporary or permanent protective order: felony stalking: jail maximum 10 years. If acts occurred within 5 years of prior conviction, and if caused serious bodily harm or violates probation, parole or bail or violates temporary or permanent protective order: felony stalking: jail maximum 10 years
|Penalty for Repeat Offense
||If within 5 years: felony stalking: jail maximum 10 years
|Arrest or Restraining Order Specifically Authorized by Statute?
|Constitutionally Protected Activities Exempted?
||Yes, lawful demonstration, assembly or picketing
A stalking definition might prove helpful here. In general, Stalking is defined as the unwanted pursuit of another person. This can include following a person, showing up at a person's home or workplace, making harassing phone calls, leaving written messages or other objects, or even vandalizing a person's property. By definition, these actions must continue over time to constitute stalking.
In most cases, the perpetrator’s actions will be considered in connection with other actions to determine if someone is being stalked. Repeated harassing or threatening behavior toward another person, will be analyzed in the context of whether the aggressor is a total stranger, slight acquaintance, current or former intimate partner, or anyone else.
Sadly, many stalking cases coincide with incidents of domestic violence, as a considerable number of stalkers were once in romantic relationships with the people they are stalking. Whether or not you are familiar with someone who may be stalking you, Wyoming offers multiple kinds of protective orders for victims to keep their stalkers away.
Related Resources for Stalking Laws:
Being stalked can be a frightening experience. If you would like legal assistance with a possible stalking case, you can contact an experienced Wyoming criminal law attorney in your area to schedule a consultation. For more introductory information, you can visit FindLaw’s sections on Domestic Violence and Criminal Charges.