Stalking

On January 1, 1993, Michigan joined 28 other states by criminalizing stalking behavior in an effort to protect victims of harassment and put an end to stalking. When Governor John Engler signed Public Acts 251,260, 261, and 262 of 1992, he provided Michigan citizens with the strongest anti-stalking laws in the nation. Due to the fact that much of the conduct of the typical non-assaultive stalker is not illegal, the legislature took extreme caution to draft a definition of stalking that will be easy to use and will not infringe on the constitutional or other rights of citizens.

Stalking is defined as:
“...a ‘willful course of conduct’ involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.”

In this definition, “willful course of conduct” refers to a pattern of behavior made up of a series of two or more separate non-continuous acts which share the same purpose. The term harassed is defined as repeated or continuing unconsented contact directed toward a victim resulting in emotional distress.

How can I protect myself if I am being stalked?
  • Travel with friends.
  • Try not to walk alone.
  • Change your telephone number to an unlisted number, or get a new cell phone number.
  • Vary the times and routes you take to work or to frequently visited places.
  • If it is safe to do so, notify your family and friends, and explain the situation to your employer so that they may protect you at work.
  • Keep a log of contacts with the suspect/stalker.
What will help me when I make a report to the Police?
  • Name and address of the stalker, if possible
  • Documentation (personal journal or contact log) of the stalker’s activities (i.e. general time frame, place, what was said, letter received)
  • Taped recording(s) of threatening or harassing telephone calls
  • Videotape of stalker’s actions
  • Basic identifying information (i.e. license plate number, make of car, personal appearance)
What will happen to the stalker if he/she is convicted?
Under Michigan Law, stalking may be either a misdemeanor, or a felony depending upon whether the stalking involved aggravating circumstances.

Misdemeanor stalking is punishable by:

  • Up to one year in jail, or
  • Up to $1,000 in fines, or both
  • Up to five years of probation. The order of probation may include an order to:
    • Not stalk anyone
    • Not have contact with the victim

Aggravated stalking is stalking with one or more of the following aggravating circumstances:

  • At least one of the stalker’s acts was in violation of a court order, such as a personal protection order, order of probation, parole or bond
  • The stalker has been convicted of stalking in the past
  • The stalker’s conduct includes one or more threats to kill or physically harm the victim – or a member of the victim’s household or family
  • The victim is less than 18 at the time of the stalking and the stalker is at least five years older than the victim

When an individual is convicted of aggravated stalking the punishment is:

  • Up to five years imprisonment
  • Up to $10,000 in fines, or both
  • Five years probation, up to lifetime probation. The order of the probation may include:
    • Not stalk anyone
    • Not have contact with the victim
    • The stalker is not allowed contact with the victim’s family members or with people in the victim’s household.

 

Our office will not disclose your information to the defendant or the defense attorney.



Contact Information

St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney
201 McMorran Blvd., Suite 3300
Port Huron, MI 48060

Phone: (810) 985-2400
Fax: (810) 985-2424
Email: Prosecuting Attorney

Photos courtesy of the Port Huron Times Herald and St. Clair County Sheriff's Department