Top Mishawaka, IN Stalking Lawyers Near You

Stalking Lawyers | Serving Mishawaka, IN

202 South Michigan Street, Suite 1400, South Bend, IN 46601

Stalking Lawyers | Serving Mishawaka, IN

201 S Main Street, Suite 400, South Bend, IN 46601

Stalking Lawyers | Serving Mishawaka, IN

52582 State Road 933 N, South Bend, IN 46637

Stalking Lawyers | Serving Mishawaka, IN

704 W Washington St, South Bend, IN 46601

Stalking Lawyers | Serving Mishawaka, IN

922 E Wayne St, Suite 204, South Bend, IN 46617

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Mishawaka Stalking Information

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The Average Total Federal Prison Sentence for stalking in Indiana

13.00 months *

* based on 2021 Individual Offenders - Federal Court sentencing in Indiana federal courts. See Sentencing Data Information for complete details.

What Is Considered Stalking?

Stalking, from a legal perspective, typically involves the offender intimidating, threatening, extorting, surveilling or otherwise harassing the victim in at least two or more instances.

Federally, the offender must either cross state lines in the commission of the crime, and use interstate commerce (including tools such as the telephone and the internet) are also applicable. Therefore, cyberstalking is also covered.

Are There Different Degrees of Stalking Charges?

Stalking is treated as a broad crime with penalties according to the severity of the crime, at the judge or jury’s discretion. Penalties are usually escalated by aggravating factors such as the victim being a minor, the victim being part of a protected group where the stalking charge is connected to a hate or bias crime allegation or a weapon or serious threat being made in the commission of the act of stalking.

At the state level, stalking charges are typically differentiated by formal degree and the punishments within state statutes. In some states, there are four degrees of stalking charges. Third and fourth-degree stalking are misdemeanor charges, while second and first-degree stalking are classified as felony offenses. The misdemeanor charges typically involve lesser threats with fewer victims, while the felony charges involve the use of a weapon, a victim under the age of 14 or the intent to cause reckless or serious harm upon the victim.

Can You Go to Jail for a Stalking Charge in Indiana?

Yes, you can go to jail if you are convicted of stalking, both at the federal level or at the state level. At the federal level, penalties range from up to five years incarceration (if the victim is not seriously injured, up to 10 years if they are) to a life sentence if death is the result of the stalking.

At the state level, stalking charges result in differing penalties depending on the degree the stalking charges are filed under. In some states, fourth-degree stalking can result in up to three years behind bars in county jail, a potential $500 fine and the option of a one-year probation period. By contrast, first-degree stalking charges, if successfully prosecuted, can result in a sentence of up to seven years in state prison as well as a fine of up to $5,000. If the guilty party is considered a repeat offender, this sentence can be escalated to life in prison. Most states follow a similar sentencing guideline for punishing the crime of stalking.

What Is the Difference Between Harassment and Stalking?

The primary difference between the offenses of harassment and of stalking is that the latter is based on a pattern or course of behavior, requiring at least two data points to proceed with legal charges. Harassment can be charged with only a singular act or offense, by contrast.

Is Online Stalking a Crime?

Online stalking, or cyberstalking, is considered a serious crime. Often lumped in with stalking more broadly, cyberstalking is perhaps even easier to prosecute at the federal level given that one of the requisites — interstate communication or commerce — is almost necessarily involved.

Several states, with California being the first in 1999, have enacted their own cyberstalking laws. Florida, Illinois, Texas, New York, Massachusetts and Missouri have also adopted relevant statutes to their own books.

Have You Been Arrested and Charged With Stalking?

Stalking is a serious criminal offense, and if convicted you could spend years in prison. If you are facing stalking charges you should contact a defense attorney as soon as possible.

To be convicted of stalking, you must threaten, harass or bully someone, causing fear or intimidation. Your behavior must indicate a pattern of stalking. Whether your conduct amounted to stalking is subjective. Your attorney can explain the laws prohibiting stalking and prepare your defense to the charge.

How Can an Attorney Help With a Stalking Charge?

If you are facing stalking charges, retaining legal counsel in order to protect yourself from the allegations is the first order of business. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help to craft the best case possible.

Stalking charges are quite serious, and the penalties for those convicted can be quite severe, sometimes involving a lengthy prison sentence and steep fines. A conviction means a criminal record if you do not already have one, and so it is important to consult experienced and skilled legal representation.

An attorney can often resolve your particular legal issue faster and better than trying to do it alone. A lawyer can help you navigate the legal system while avoiding costly mistakes or procedural errors. You should seek out an attorney whose practice focuses on the area of law most relevant to your issue.

What Do Judges Look for in Custody Cases?

In every state, family court judges must consider what is in the child’s best interests when determining custody. In most cases, judges emphasize making sure the child will spend ample time with both parents. To make this happen, a judge will likely want to know what each parent’s home environment is like, whether each parent will be able to give a child the proper attention, and which situation the child will be most likely to thrive in.

Who Has Legal Custody of the Child When the Parents Aren’t Married?

If the parents are not married, the child’s biological parents both have parental rights unless the law says otherwise. An exception to this could be if no father is listed on the child’s birth certificate. In that case, the father would have to go through the legal process of establishing paternity to be able to assert his parental rights for visitation.

How Can a Mother Lose Custody of Her Child?

A mother can lose custody of her child in much the same way a father could. This could include abusing the child, abusing drugs or alcohol, providing an unsafe home environment for the child, or abandoning the child.

How Can You Change a Child Custody Order?

If you or your ex are unhappy with the current custody arrangement, you can negotiate a change to your agreement. If a judge feels that the changes are still in the child’s best interests, then they may approve the order. If one of you is pressing ahead with seeking a change and the other parent is contesting it, you will need to prove a “substantial” change in circumstances. This could include one of the parents moving out of state, suffering from a disability or illness that affects their parenting ability, exposing the child to an unsafe environment, or having a change in work circumstances that requires rescheduling of visitation.

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