Oklahoma stalking laws specify various penalties for that crime. All instances of stalking are felonies. Here’s some general information about stalking laws in Oklahoma.
- What Is Stalking
- The Penalties for Stalking
- Rebuttable Presumption Establishing Stalking
- General Definitions
The following is for educational purposes only, is not legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Laws change often and you should consult an attorney. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, call the Cale Law Office at 918-771-7314 for a free initial consultation. Or, contact us through the web.
WHAT IS STALKING
Generally speaking, stalking is the deliberate, malicious, and repetitive act of following or harassing another person in a manner that induces fear, intimidation, threat, harassment, or distress.
THE PENALTIES FOR STALKING
The penalties for violating stalking laws in Oklahoma differ depending on the circumstances and the number of previous convictions:
Upon a first conviction, the offender can face imprisonment for up to three years and/or a fine not exceeding $5,000.
A second violation for stalking carries a punishment of up to six years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.
THREE OR MORE CONVICTIONS
The penalty for three or more convictions is up to 12 years in prison and/or a fine of $15,000.
VIOLATIONS UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS
Despite the penalties outlined above, the law imposes a penalty of imprisonment for up to 15 years, and/or a fine of up to $20,000 under any of the following circumstances:
1. Violating the law when a restraining order, injunction or protective order is in effect against the same party, and the offender is aware of it.
2. If the offender is on probation or parole with a condition prohibiting stalking, or under certain conditions of community or alternative punishment.
3. If the offender, within ten years prior to stalking, has been convicted of a crime involving violence against the same party or their immediate family.
However, committing stalking within ten years of completing a sentence for a prior conviction under any of these circumstances can lead to imprisonment for up to 25 years, and/or a fine of up to $30,000.
SUBSEQUENT VIOLATIONS WITHIN A CERTAIN TIMEFRAME
Oklahoma stalking laws impose a punishment of imprisonment for up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $25,000 under any of the following instances:
1. Committing a second act of stalking within ten years of completing a sentence for a prior stalking conviction.
2. If an individual with a prior stalking conviction knowingly makes unconsented contact with the same person after being served with a protective order prohibiting contact.
But, committing stalking within ten years of completing a sentence for a prior conviction under any of these circumstances can lead to imprisonment for up to 25 years, and/or a fine of up to $30,000.
REBUTTABLE PRESUMPTION ESTABLISHING STALKING
A rebuttable presumption is like a legal assumption that can be challenged or proven wrong. In simple terms, it means that in a legal situation, the law starts with a certain assumption, but you can present evidence to show that the assumption is not true.
For example, let’s say there’s a law that presumes someone is innocent until proven guilty in a criminal trial. This means that when a person is accused of a crime, the law assumes they are not guilty at the beginning. However, it’s up to the prosecution to provide evidence to prove their guilt.
So, in a legal context, a rebuttable presumption is a starting point, but it can be changed or “rebutted” if you can show good reasons or evidence to do so. It’s like saying, “We assume this, but you can prove us wrong if you have a good argument or evidence.”
Under Oklahoma stalking laws, evidence that the defendant continued to engage in a course of conduct involving repeated unconsented contact with the victim after being asked to stop can create a rebuttable presumption that the victim felt terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
The law provides specific definitions for terms relevant to stalking. But here is a general summary of those definitions
1. “Harasses” refers to a pattern of conduct causing emotional distress to the victim, including acts like harassing or obscene phone calls.
2. “Course of conduct” encompasses a series of two or more acts demonstrating a continuous intent, such as maintaining proximity to the victim or contacting them by various means.
3. “Emotional distress” represents significant mental suffering, not necessarily requiring professional treatment.
4. “Unconsented contact” includes various forms of contact initiated or continued against the victim’s wishes.
5. “Member of the immediate family” is defined for the purposes of this law.
6. “Following” also includes tracking an individual’s location using a GPS device without their consent, unless under specific lawful circumstances.
In essence, this law addresses the seriousness of stalking and provides detailed definitions and penalties to protect individuals from this form of harassment.
Source: Okla. Stat. Tit. 21, sec. 1173