From the State’s Attorney Office: January is National Stalking Awareness Month

by MCS Staff

Per the The State’s Attorney’s Office Special Victims Division: The office is highlighting the fact that with stalking crimes, intervention can prevent violence. An estimated 13.5 million people are stalked annually in the United States according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced stalking. https://www.stalkingawareness.org/ is a great resource, and the Montgomery County Family Justice Center can help if you are being stalked by a current or former intimate partner. Educate yourself on stalking related laws in Maryland:

MD. CODE ANN. § 3-802 (WEST 2021). STALKING

“Stalking” defined

(a) In this section, “stalking” means a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where:

(1) the person intends to place or knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear:

(i) 1. of serious bodily injury;

2. of an assault in any degree;

3. of rape or sexual offense as defined by §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of this title or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree;

4. of false imprisonment; or

5. of death; or

(ii) that a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in item (i) of this item; or

(2) the person intends to cause or knows or reasonably should have known that the conduct would cause serious emotional distress to another.

Scope of section

(b) The provisions of this section do not apply to conduct that is:

(1) performed to ensure compliance with a court order;

(2) performed to carry out a specific lawful commercial purpose; or

(3) authorized, required, or protected by local, State, or federal law.

Prohibited

(c) A person may not engage in stalking.

Penalty

(d) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.

Sentence

(e) A sentence imposed under this section may be separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any other crime based on the acts establishing a violation of this section.

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