California Stalking Illegal

Top Orange County divorce lawyers; The Maggio Law Firm

Stalking is one of the most frightening behaviors a person may experience. One out of every twelve women and one out of every forty-five men will be stalked at least once during their lives.

Stalking in the 21st century isn’t just what we have come to associate as being the “typical” stalker-like behavior. Now, thanks to the advent of the Internet, there is also a category of stalker referred to as cyber stalkers. It too is illegal, and it is a great deal more difficult to catch and prosecute an online stalker.

The typical definition of a stalker refers to a person who wants to force a relationship on a victim. In most instances, the relationship is not wanted, which is usually the trigger for the stalking behavior; actions that include vandalizing the victim’s property, threatening or harassing the victim, obsessive messaging either by cell phone or online, or obsessive phone calling at all hours of the day and night. Some stalkers define their modus operandi by delivering certain types of gifts that they know will upset their target.

Stalking is one of the most gut-wrenching experiences any man or woman will ever go through. The feeling of fear, loss of control of their lives, the physical stress and anxiety, and the emotional rollercoaster many victims ride while being stalked takes a significant toll on their health and mental well-being. Victims may experience extreme fatigue, depression, intense fear, anger, anxiety, insomnia, PTSD, overwhelming helplessness, and yo-yo weight problems.

In some instances, stalkers don’t realize what they are doing; don’t understand that they are doing something wrong. Their perception is that they are doing something that other person should like and don’t comprehend why their advances are met with such violent reactions. Put another way, they are ignorant as to how their actions affect others. Nonetheless, stalking in California is still illegal. In fact, California was the first state to make stalking a criminal act in 1990.

The rest of the states now have similar laws in place to deal with stalkers, however each state also approaches the definition of a criminal act differently. For instance, some states call stalking illegal only if the stalker endangers or threatens the victim. There are also 13 states that charge the first count of stalking as a misdemeanor and subsequent charges as felonies. It’s best to ask a qualified attorney what laws are applicable to stalkers in your state. Shockingly, every year, there are approximately 2 million felony and 4 million misdemeanor stalking charges.

Gerald A. Maggio is an Orange County divorce attorney, in Irvine, California.  For more information or to schedule a consultation with Orange County divorce lawyer Gerald Maggio, contact The Maggio Law Firm by calling (949) 553-0304 or visiting

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