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Is Stalking Illegal in Tennessee?

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You may have heard the term “stalking” used flippantly in passing conversations or lame accusations. However, this term carries serious weight in the eyes of Tennessee criminal law. Read on to discover whether stalking is considered an illegal act and how one of the seasoned Montgomery County criminal defense lawyers at Fendley and Etson can help if you are wrongly accused of it.

What is the definition of stalking?

Tennessee criminal law defines stalking as a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual. Such harassment caused the victim to be terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested; or otherwise would have caused a reasonable individual to feel as such.

More specific examples may include repetitive appearances at another individual’s workplace or residence; continually placing objects on another individual’s owned, leased, or occupied property; incessantly contacting another individual via telephone; and more.

Is stalking an illegal act in the state of Tennessee?

Usually, a Tennessee criminal court will charge stalking as a Class A misdemeanor. This may come with sentenced jail time of up to 11 months and 29 days, along with a fine of up to $2,500.

However, the court may consider this a Class E felony if, at the time of the offense, the defendant was required to or was registered with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as a sex offender, violent sexual offender, or violent juvenile sexual offender. This may come with sentenced prison time of one to six years, along with a fine of up to $3,000.

Why might someone falsely accuse me of stalking?

It is more than likely that your estranged spouse or partner charged you for stalking. At the same time, this can possibly be a false accusation.

This may be because your estranged spouse or partner misinterprets your actions as malicious. That is, they may view your frequent calls as a form of stalking. But in reality, you may be trying to contact them so that you may work on rebuilding a relationship with them.

On the other hand, your estranged spouse may be painting you in a bad light amid your divorce proceedings. That is, they may be portraying you as an unfit parent so that you are not granted a favorable custody order. In a worst-case scenario, they may be petitioning for a restraining order so that you may be barred from seeing them or your child for the indefinite future.

So, if you believe that you have been falsely accused of stalking, you must allow for justice to reign. This is to say that it may be in your best interest to retain the services of one of the competent Montgomery County criminal defense lawyers. Contact Fendley and Etson today.