Stalking isn’t just a danger or annoyance for victims; it’s a serious violation of law that carries significant criminal penalties for those who commit such acts in Louisiana. Here, we’ll get into what Louisiana state law says about stalking and the punishments it carries for perpetrators.
What is considered “stalking” under Louisiana law?
While the law does not prohibit strangers from contacting one another in most circumstances, when the behavior crosses a certain and clearly defined legal line, it becomes an illegal activity known as stalking.
As it is written in Section 14:40.2 of state law, “stalking” in Louisiana means the “willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassing with intent to place in fear of death or bodily injury.” Obviously, there is some room for legal wrangling under this definition, which will be the job of any defense attorney. That’s why it’s critical for victims of stalking to have a qualified attorney to advocate on his or her behalf.
What are the punishments for stalking in Louisiana?
Under state law, criminals convicted of stalking can face either a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Under some circumstances, such as a preexisting protective order in place, those penalties can increase.
How can Louisiana stalking victims protect themselves?
In addition to the natural right of self-defense, the law offers stalking victims in Louisiana several legal means to protect themselves. For example, a victim (or his or her attorney) may file a protective order with the court that prevents a stalker from coming within a certain proximity to the victim. If the stalker violates the order, he or she may face criminal penalties, such as jail. Protective orders are also commonly known as restraining orders.
If you have experienced stalking, know and assert your rights to put an end to stalking. Louisiana law is on your side.