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Union County criminal defense attorney stalking

With texting, calling, and social media profiles available at the touch of a button, it has never been easier to find someone’s information and continue contacting them over a number of platforms. What may have been considered harassment or stalking 10 years ago has now escalated to include digital outreach. You have likely heard the term “Facebook stalking” or other versions of looking at someone’s public information online. While this term may poke fun at browsing through a person’s social media content, it can be considered a crime if taken too far. 

The Legal Definition of Harassment

There are a number of threatening actions that are considered harassment by Tennessee law. According to Tennessee law, a person who intentionally does the following is committing the criminal offense of harassment:

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Knoxville stalking charges defense lawyer

Stalking has taken on a variety of forms, especially with the emergence of social media. Stalking used to be just physical, but now it can take on digital forms as well. While you may have seen versions of stalking on television and in the movies, these are usually not an accurate depiction of the reality of stalking. The act of stalking can be as dramatic as the TV shows, but it is typically more reserved and secretive. The state of Tennessee describes three levels of stalking to omit any discrepancies that may exist.

Definition of Stalking

According to Tennessee law, stalking is defined as “a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continued harassment of another individual that would cause and actually did cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.” This definition is long and detailed to recognize all possible offenses. The act is a Class A misdemeanor for first-time offenders but becomes a Class E felony if the stalker is registered as a sexual offender at the time of the incident. Class A misdemeanors may require less than a year in jail or a fine of up to $2,500. Class E felonies can result in one to six years in prison in addition to a fine of up to $3,000.

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