In Wisconsin, Stalking is a Class I Felony meaning that it carries a maximum penalty of 3.5 years in prison and/or a $10,000.00 fine, if convicted.
In order to be found guilty of Stalking, the State must prove four elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that you engaged in a course of conduct that was directed at a specific person; (2) the course of conduct would have caused a reasonable person to suffer certain types of emotional distress or fear (example: to fear that she will suffer emotional distress); (3) the course of conduct did, in fact, cause the alleged victim to experience that type of emotional distress or fear; and (4) the defendant knew or should have known that at least one of the acts in the course of conduct would cause the same type of emotional distress or fear that was experienced. Examples of the emotional fear or distress that are serious enough to be considered stalking are causing someone to suffer serious emotional distress; to fear bodily injury or death to him or herself; or fear bodily injury or death to a member of her family.
There are defenses to allegations of stalking. Certainly, not all behavior that may be viewed as stalking is a crime. To be criminal conduct, it must actually cause a reasonable person to suffer serious emotional distress. Other forms of stalking may be handled with a civil restraining order. One potential defense is that the course of conduct was criminal stalking. Another potential defense is that the accuser has either falsified or exaggerated the allegations. That commonly occurs during child custody disputes in a divorce when parties are posturing for child placement and custody. Our firm has a history of successfully defending individuals accused of Stalking. Please contact our firm to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss the facts of your case.