How Does New York State Legally Define What Stalking Is?
Is there someone that is creeping you out? Do they show up where you are? Do they send you emails? Notes? Gifts that make your skin crawl?
You might refer to them as your 'stalker,' but what does New York State define stalking as? Legally, that is. When can you know that you need to speak up and get the police involved?
How does New York State define the term 'Stalking?'
New York State does not just see one type of stalking, they break it down to four different kinds, or four different 'degrees,' each bringing with it different punishments, based on the level. Please note, that at any time if you do not feel safe, call the police or get yourself to the nearest police station.
How does the Attorney General of NYS define stalking?
Here is the definition, from Stalking Realities and Responses, NYS (pdf):
The persistent and unwanted pursuit of an individual by another that would cause a reasonable person to fear. It is an intentional and unpredictable course of conduct that can be annoying, intrusive, intimidating, threatening and harmful.
What if the person is also giving you gifts? Is that stalking?
Do those gifts make you feel uncomfortable, make your skin crawl or just in general skeeve you out? Then that is stalking. There are more ways that a person can stalk you too:
- knowing your schedule and showing up when you are there.
- tracking you with a gps or any other type of device
- stealing your belongings
These are just a few of the hundreds of ways a person could stalk you. Just remember, if you don't feel safe, then you probably aren't. Get to a police department asap.
Here is a look at some of the "Most Wanted Criminals" in New York State. Do you recognize any of them? Would you know what to do if you came across one of them?