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Stalking Charges in Phoenix

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, click here.

Facing felony charges for stalking in Phoenix or Tempe? Contact us today to meet with a former Maricopa County prosecutor for free.