What Constitutes Stalking, and Why Is It Difficult To Prosecute? | Sex Crimes Attorney, Wichit

Sex Crimes Attorney in Wichita


Stalking is a serious issue that affects people everywhere, including right here in Kansas. With an increase in online interactions and the growth of social media platforms in recent years, stalking has continued to become increasingly prevalent among individuals of all ages. But what exactly counts as stalking in our state, and why is it so hard to prosecute? Let’s break it down in simpler terms. Jonathan W. McConnell, our founding sex crimes attorney in Wichita at the McConnell Law Firm, is detailing everything you need to know!


What Is Stalking?

Kansas law defines stalking as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or suffer substantial emotional distress. Examples of such conduct include following, harassing, or threatening the victim, which can occur in person, through phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media. In order for harassment to be elevated to a stalking charge, there must be a proven pattern of behavior where the alleged individual repeatedly harasses another person.

A Real-World Example: Physical presence is not always required when substantiating stalking charges. Sending unwanted gifts, letters, or other items to an individual that are seen as intimidating or unsettling can ultimately lead to charges of stalking if done repeatedly.

“Stalking and harassment are similar in some ways,” said Jonathan W. McConnell, founding sex crimes attorney at the McConnell Law Firm. “Harassing is repeatedly bothering someone, which can lead to stalking charges; however, under Kansas statute, there must be a certain amount of instances to trigger a stalking offense.”


Protections Against Stalking

Despite challenges, some measures can be implemented to protect against stalking. These protection orders can prohibit the alleged stalker from contacting or coming near the victim and may include other specific provisions to ensure all parties’ safety. If an individual violates a restraining order or an order of protection, they will face criminal charges and severe penalties.

Click here to learn more about the consequences of violating a restraining order!

The severity of the penalties for stalking will depend on various factors, including the nature and extent of the stalking behavior, the offender’s prior criminal history, and the impact on the victim. If a protection order has been violated, it could be classified as a felony. Such an offense could include potential imprisonment for five to seventeen months and a fine of up to $100,000.


Difficulties With Prosecution

Stalking cases are often complex, as they are entirely dependent upon the factual scenario of the allegation. What one individual may consider stalking, another person may not, which is where difficulties can emerge. Unlike other crimes with substantial physical evidence, stalking often happens through actions and verbal threats, making them more challenging to prove in court. A pattern of behavior must be established.

“There are certain forms of stalking that are easier to argue, mostly because they are easier to track,” said McConnell. “For example, harassment online is easier to prove because there’s a written record of it, as opposed to harassment that occurs in person and is dependent upon an individual’s personal account. Because there are many gray areas when it comes to ‘stalking’ and each case is unique, it’s best to contact a defense attorney if you have questions regarding your specific situation.”


Have You Been Accused?

If you need assistance with a stalking case, we encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm as soon as possible. While every case is different, and no conclusions should be drawn without first consulting a sex crimes attorney in Wichita about the specifics of your case, it is always in your best interest to have a skilled attorney by your side from the beginning.

Request a Free Consultation

Do you or a loved one need the assistance of an expert sex crimes attorney in Wichita? We encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm at (316) 243-5903 for a free consultation.

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What Constitutes Stalking, and Why Is It Difficult To Prosecute? | Sex Crimes Attorney, Wichit

Industry Credentials

Jonathan W. McConnell and his team have become well-known for their expert knowledge and unmatched tenacity. They have been rated highly by the public and their peers on many prestigious legal directories and professional organizations.