Harassment is governed differently by each state, with laws varying in each jurisdiction. While there is no specific law in the Michigan Penal Code that specifically deals with harassment, any action by an individual that frightens and harasses another or invades the privacy of another person is considered unlawful.
Most prosecutors pursue these accusations under Michigan’s stalking laws, bringing charges against an accused individual with the potential for serious penalties, possible jail time, and a criminal record. If you have been accused or are facing charges under these laws, Michigan criminal harassment lawyer Paul J. Tafelski and the criminal defense team at Michigan Defense Law will provide diligent legal defense, ensuring that your legal rights are protected.
One of the key elements in a stalking charge is unconsented contact. Unconsented contact can refer to any contact with the victim that is unwanted or in disregard of their expressed desire not to have contact.
These can include:
A victim can be stalked anywhere, including at home, at work, or even commonly visited places. If you have been accused of stalking, you should get the assistance of an experienced Michigan criminal harassment attorney to protect your legal rights.
Sections 750.411h and 750.411i – Michigan Stalking Statute
Under Michigan law, stalking has two separate categories.
Section 750.411h sets out definitions, violations, and penalties concerning stalking as a misdemeanor. Section 750.411i sets out definitions, violations, and penalties concerning aggravated stalking as a felony.
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Misdemeanor stalking in Michigan 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.” Furthermore, penalties will be more severe when:
Aggravated stalking involves the same general conditions as above but with additional elements, increasing the charge to a felony:
Convicting someone of stalking requires many key elements to be proven by the prosecution. An experienced criminal harassment attorney may have several avenues of defense available, depending on the circumstances.
If you are convicted of stalking, you may face serious penalties, including fines and time behind bars. You may also be required to receive mandatory counseling, anger management classes, or even be subject to a restraining order.
In addition, the court can further impose up to five years of probation with additional orders requiring the defendant to:
Stalking is a serious criminal charge and prosecutors take it that way. If you have been accused of stalking, it is critical to get the assistance of an experienced criminal harassment lawyer to ensure that your legal rights are being represented.
Criminal charges can follow you for the rest of your life and you should not face them alone. At Michigan Defense Law, our skilled team of criminal harassment lawyers will diligently defend you against these serious charges.
A relatively recent offense, cyberstalking involves continued unwanted contact using internet-based communication.
Under section 750.411s of Michigan statute, it is unlawful for an individual to post messages to another person through any communication, including the internet, a computer, a computer program, computer network, or computer system without that person’s consent if:
Cyberstalking is considered a felony offense punishable by up to two years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines. These penalties can increase to up to five years in prison and fines of up to $10,000 if:
At Michigan Defense Law, our experienced Michigan criminal harassment attorneys appreciate the gravity of the matter and aggressively work to protect our clients from wrongful convictions. We come to criminal defense with over 20 years of experience defending our clients against serious criminal charges. We believe wholeheartedly in the presumption of innocence and provide diligent representation to that end.
Stalking has an emotionally-charged aspect that can lead to its abuse. False accusations can be made, particularly when it concerns relationships that end badly.
Unfortunately, Michigan stalking laws can be broad and vague.
While stalking can feel intrusive and nobody wants to be stalked, many stalkers are ordinary people who have developed an interest in someone they only have a casual or even no relationship to. Many accused stalkers are former romantic partners.
Regardless, the stalker has developed a compulsion toward the accuser for a variety of reasons:
All of these behaviors fall into the definition of stalking. Consequently, someone can find themselves facing stalking charges for very non-criminal intentions. While you may not have had harmful intentions, and you may never have even come into direct contact with the accuser, you could still be facing serious criminal charges if you made that person feel unsafe. This is when you need a skilled criminal harassment attorney on your side.
Michigan courts take stalking charges very seriously and a conviction can have lifelong consequences. If you are facing a stalking charge, Paul Tafelski and the criminal harassment lawyers at Michigan Defense Law can defend you against these criminal charges to help ensure that you are not burdened with a criminal record for the rest of your life.
We will build a solid defense strategy to show that there was no threat to the accuser or that the prosecution did provide the required proof under the elements of stalking. Whether you are the target of an investigation or have been formally charged, we will get to work immediately to ensure your best possible outcome.
Call us at (248) 451-2200 or contact us on our convenient online contact form to schedule a no-cost consultation.