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Stalking in Washington State may be prosecuted either as a Gross Misdemeanor or Class C Felony, depending on the allegations made against a person.
Stalking requires a continuity of purpose, meaning at least two or more distinct, individual and non-continuous occurrence following or harassment. If the stalker has been given actual notice that a person does not want to be contacted or followed, attempts to contact or follow are considered significant evidence of an attempt to intimidate or harass.
Under RCW 9A.46.110 (the Stalking Statute), a person commits the crime of stalking if, without lawful authority, and not amounting felony attempt of another crime, he or she:
  • a) intentionally and repeatedly harasses or repeatedly follows another person; AND
  • b) The person being harassed or followed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or of another person. The feeling of fear must be one that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under all the circumstances; AND
  • c) The stalker either
    • a. Intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person; OR
    • b. Knows or reasonably should know that the person is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to place the person in fear or intimidate or harass the person.
Stalking is a Class C Felony if any of the following applies:
  • i) the stalker has previously been convicted in this state or any other state of any crime of harassment, as defined in RCW 9A.46.060, of the same victim or members of the victim's family or household or any person specifically named in a protective order
  • ii) the stalking violates any protective order protecting the person being stalked
  • iii) the stalker has previously been convicted of a gross misdemeanor or felony stalking offense under this section for stalking another person
  • iv) the stalker was armed with a deadly weapon, as defined in *RCW 9.94A.602, while stalking the person
  • v) both of the following
    • a. the stalker's victim is or was a law enforcement officer; judge; juror; attorney; victim advocate; legislator; community corrections' officer; an employee, contract staff person, or volunteer of a correctional agency; or an employee of the child protective, child welfare, or adult protective services division within the department of social and health services; AND
    • b. the stalker stalked the victim to retaliate against the victim for an act the victim performed during the course of official duties or to influence the victim's performance of official duties
  • vi) the stalker's victim is a current, former, or prospective witness in an adjudicative proceeding, and the stalker stalked the victim to retaliate against the victim as a result of the victim's testimony or potential testimony
"Follows" means deliberately maintaining visual or physical proximity to a specific person over a period of time. A finding that the alleged stalker repeatedly and deliberately appears at the person's home, school, place of employment, business, or any other location to maintain visual or physical proximity to the person is sufficient to find that the alleged stalker follows the person. It is not necessary to establish that the alleged stalker follows the person while in transit from one location to another
"Harasses" means unlawful harassment as defined in RCW 10.14.020.
If you, or someone you care about, has been charged (or may be) with Stalking in King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County, or Whatcom County, call Ashbach Law Offices, LLC today at (360) 659-4950 for a free, no-pressure case evaluation.
With a reputation in the legal community as aggressive, effective and successful criminal defense attorneys, we are here to help you through your difficult times.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged with criminal offenses in Northwest Washington Courts, including King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County and Whatcom County, as well as other counties on a case-by-case basis. These counties include courts in and for the following cities: Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bellevue, Blaine, Bothell, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynden, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Redmond, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Sedro Woolley, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Tukwila, Washington.
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