The term stalking conjures images much like the one below where a creepy stranger is following an unsuspecting individual. But that is not always the case. Wisconsin Statute § 940.32 defines stalking as intentionally engaging in certain conduct that is directed at a specific person and that conduct causes that person to suffer serious emotional distress, fear of bodily injury or fear of death to themselves, their family, or their household and the individual who is engaging in this conduct knows or should have known that their conduct was going to create the distress or fear. If you are convicted of stalking in Wisconsin, you will be guilty of a class I felony. A class I felony is punishable by three and one half years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine or both. There can be additional penalties if certain specific facts are alleged. If you have been convicted of a violent crime in the past or of a crime that involves the same victim as the current charge, it becomes a class H felony. A class H felony is punishable by six years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine or both. Additionally, Wis. Stat. § 940.32 provides for penalties of twelve and a half years imprisonment and up to a $25,000 fine or both if the victim suffers injuries as a result of stalking conduct.
What the State must prove to convict you of Stalking
To be convicted of a stalking charge in Wisconsin the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following four elements:
- You intentionally engaged in a course of conduct directed at a certain individual;
- The course of conduct you engaged in would have caused a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress, fear of bodily injury or death to themselves or their family or household;
- your acts did cause the serious emotional distress or fear of bodily injury or death to the individual or their family or household; and
- you knew or should have known that your actions constituting the course of conduct would have caused the distress or fear.
Madison, WI Stalking Charge Attorneys
A charge of Stalking in Wisconsin requires a knowledge of Wisconsin law and experience in the court room. Anderson & O'Connell, S.C. are criminal defense attorneys in Madison, WI. If you are charged with a felony stalking charge in Madison or the rest of southern Wisconsin contact us today. We can help defend you in court.
What conduct is considered Stalking in Wisconsin?
Under Wisconsin Statute § 940.32, "Course of conduct" means a series of 2 or more acts carried out over time, however short or long, that show a continuity of purpose, including any of the following:
- Maintaining a visual or physical proximity to the victim.
- Approaching or confronting the victim.
- Appearing at the victim's workplace or contacting the victim's employer or coworkers.
- Appearing at the victim's home or contacting the victim's neighbors.
- Entering property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.
- Contacting the victim by telephone or causing the victim's telephone or any other person's telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously, regardless of whether a conversation ensues.
- Photographing, videotaping, audiotaping, or, through any other electronic means, monitoring or recording the activities of the victim. This subdivision applies regardless of where the act occurs.
- Sending material by any means to the victim or, for the purpose of obtaining information about, disseminating information about, or communicating with the victim, to a member of the victim's family or household or an employer, coworker, or friend of the victim.
- Placing an object on or delivering an object to property owned, leased, or occupied by the victim.
- Delivering an object to a member of the victim's family or household or an employer, coworker, or friend of the victim or placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by such a person with the intent that the object be delivered to the victim.