Are you committing the Crime of Stalking? Here’s a Checklist for you.

By August 23, 2021Bail Bonds
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In our modern world today, stalking means checking the social media accounts such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok of people you are curious about or someone you aspire to be. This may be a harmless thing and at some point, all people do it. However, stalking becomes a felony crime when it becomes a predatory behavior that involves a credible threat and bothering behavior. This is far more serious than just stalking your ex’s new girlfriend on Instagram. If it involves disturbing and repeated behavior, you might be facing stalking issues. In some states, stalking is taken as a very serious crime and is heavily penalized depending on the gravity of the accusation. 

In Colorado, a recent law was passed which overhauls Colorado’s stalking statute under CRS 18-3-602 wherein suspects that are arrested for stalking need to go before a judge before posting a bail. (Check out 24-hour bail bonds company if you need 24 hours bail bond services). In this case, the judge’s decision usually takes days and the accused needs to stay in custody. The defendant also needs to sign a mandatory protective order in the judge’s presence for the protection of the victim. This law is called Vonnie’s Law, named after a stalking victim Vonnie Flores. In 2010, she was shot and killed by her stalker of two years after he was bailed out of jail after his arrest for violating a court order of protection. Vonnie’s sister lobbied to strengthen the state’s stalking laws arguing that she would never have died if added protection and a different procedure had been in place. Under Vonnie’s Law, stalking both requires credible threat and repeated behavior that causes a person to suffer emotional distress.

Since stalking is a unique and unusual crime, below are the elements/indications if a person is committing the crime of stalking:

  1. Making a credible threat to a person and in connection with the threat repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance the person and even immediate family members or someone with whom the person has or had a continuing relationship. Credible threat refers to a threat made with intent and the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause the person who is the target of the threat reasonably fear for his safety. It may be made in person or through email, phone calls, text messages, letters, or any means of communication.
  2. Making a credible threat to a person and in connection with the threat repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance the person and even immediate family members or someone with whom the person has or had a continuing relationship regardless of whether a conversation ensued.
  3. Repeatedly following, contacting, approaching, surveilling, or communicating with the person, their immediate family, or someone with whom the person has or had a continuing relationship with. The stalker’s behavior can cause that person, their immediate family, or someone that the person has or had a continuing relationship with to suffer serious emotional distress. Note that a victim does not need to show that they have received any counseling or professional treatment showing they suffered from any serious emotional torture.

Stalkers have normally obsessive behavior and can be easily recognized as stalking. 

Below are example situations where stalking has been committed:

  1. Repeated unwanted and frightening communications through phone calls, email, or text messages
  2. Damaging the victim’s property or personal possessions
  3. Following the victim everywhere for considerable amount of time
  4. Sending unwanted gifts to the victim repeatedly
  5. Keeping/Securing all personal information of the victim by accessing public records and even contacting family and friends to get all information
  6. Making both direct and indirect threats to the victim and even the victim’s family and relatives

To better understand severity of the consequences of stalking, the below are the penalties for stalking in Colorado:

1. First Offense

First time stalking penalties in Colorado is considered a Class Five Felony and the consequences includes:

  • 4 years in Colorado prison (with mandatory 2-year period parole)
  • Or a fine amounting to $1,000 to $100,000

2. Subsequent offense with 7 years of prior stalking conviction

A subsequent stalking offense is considered a Class 4 felony given that you have also been charged with the same crime 7 years prior. The consequences of class 4 felony stalking conviction include the below:

  • 2-10 years in Colorado prison (with mandatory 3-year parole)
  • Or fine amounting to $2,000-$500,000

3. Stalking that violates a protective order or a condition of probation or parole

Even though it’s a first stalking offense, stalking in violation of an outstanding protection order or parole is still considered a Class 4 Felony. The penalties include:

  • 2-10 years in Colorado prison (with mandatory 3-year parole)
  • Or fine amounting to $2,000-$500,000

 

Some may argue that sometimes a person only commits an unintended and non-criminal act out of desperation with no criminal intent attempting to regain the love of the person and can mistakenly be perceived as stalking behavior. In cases like this, it depends on the law enforcement to ensure that the elements of stalking have been committed. Sometimes, the victim simply misunderstood the intention of the alleged stalker. 

Here are some examples of defenses where there is no stalking being committed and has only been misunderstood:

1. There is no threat made or a threat has only been made once

Example: After your co-worker called you fat and ugly, you told her that you will burn down her house.

2. The victim has not suffered from serious emotional distress

3. The threat is superficial or too grandiose to be taken seriously

Example: After being rejected by a girl, you threatened her that you would launch a missile attack on her parent’s house.

4. The alleged stalker has only contacted the victim once which does not qualify as a stalking behavior


If your loved one or someone you know has been accused of stalking, you can trust our experts at Red’s Anytime Bail Bonds to provide you with hassle free and 24-hours bail bond services. They can be a trusted and reliable 24-hour bail bonds company in Colorado. We believe that your loved ones deserve to be at home. Call us now!