In the past, making verbal threats, parking outside someone’s home
to watch them, and following them wasn’t necessarily a crime. After
all, if there was no physical contact or actual violence; such behaviors
were viewed as innocent, but time has shown us that stalking behaviors
can terrorize a victim and inflict psychological harm.
In many cases, following or threatening a victim was escalated to causing
property damage, breaking into victims’ homes, assault and even
murder. Is stalking all about romantic obsessions? Stalking can stem from
an obsessive love for a victim, or an obsessive hatred, and it can be
perpetrated by the stalker, or they can have others stalk on their behalf.
Since stalking behaviors often led to a pattern of victimization and violence,
states across the country have enacted anti-stalking laws and Arizona
is no exception. What is stalking exactly? It involves behaviors that
terrorize victims and place them in fear of imminent physical harm and
property damage. It can also place them in fear of having their friends,
family members, domestic pets and even livestock harmed by the stalker.
Examples of stalking behaviors:
- Following the victim
- Injuring or killing the victim’s pet
- Making threatening calls to the victim
- Sending threatening texts to the victim
- Sending threatening letters to the victim
- Damaging or destroying the victim’s property
- Breaking into the victim’s home or breaking windows
- Parking near the victim’s home, work, school or places the victim frequents
What is Arizona’s Stalking Law?
In Arizona, stalking is criminalized under
Section 13-2923 of the Arizona Revised Statutes. Under ARS 13-2923 it states: “A
person commits stalking if the person intentionally or knowingly engages
in a course of conduct that is directed toward another person” and
the conduct causes the victim to:
- Suffer emotional distress
- Suffer reasonable fear of the stalker
- Fear their property will be damaged
- Fear their pet will be injured
- Fear their family will be injured
- Fear their livestock will be harmed
- Fear a previous romantic partner will be harmed
Stalking is a
Class 3 or
Class 5 felony depending on the facts of the case. It’s generally a Class 5 felony
unless the stalker placed the victim in reasonable fear that the stalker
would kill the victim, a family member, pet, livestock, or a former romantic partner.
To learn about felony sentencing in Arizona,
Facing felony charges for stalking in Phoenix or Tempe?
Contact us today to meet with a former
Maricopa County prosecutor for free.