In the state of Wisconsin, stalking is a serious crime—but few people know just how serious. It’s been in the news quite a bit lately, but if you’ve been accused of stalking in Milwaukee, Waukesha, or elsewhere, here’s what you need to know.
What is Stalking in Wisconsin?
You can be charged with—and convicted of—stalking for several different types of offenses in the state of Wisconsin. Some acts that can lead to a stalking charge include:
- Maintaining visual or physical closeness to the victim
- Approaching or confronting the victim
- Showing up at the victim’s workplace or home, or contacting coworkers, neighbors, or family members
- Contacting the victim by repeated phone calls (or even continuously causing the victim’s phone to ring)
- Recording or monitoring the victim’s activities
- Sending information to people who know the victim in order to communicate with the victim (or to share information about the victim)
- Delivering objects to the same people listed above, for the same purposes
- Placing an object on or having an object delivered to the victim’s property
Stalking Penalties in Wisconsin
Stalking is a Class I felony under Wisconsin law, but under special circumstances, it can be a Class H or Class F felony.
- Class I felony: A standard stalking charge is a Class I felony in Wisconsin. If you’re charged with and convicted of a Class I felony, you could be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to 3 years and 6 months.
- Class H felony: If you have a previous conviction for a violent crime, stalking, or harassment, you could be facing a Class H felony. It’s also a Class H felony if you have a previous conviction for a crime when the alleged victim of that crime is the alleged victim of stalking. Finally, it’s a class H felony if you intentionally gained access to a record in an electronic format in order to facilitate the crime, you illegally intercepted electronic or oral communication, or if the victim was under the age of 18. If you’re charged with and convicted of a Class H felony, you could be fined up to $10,000 and imprisoned for up to 6 years.
- Class F felony: If the act resulted in bodily harm to the victim or to a member of the victim’s family (or his or her household), or if you have a previous conviction for a violent crime, stalking, or harassment, you’re facing a Class F felony. Stalking is also a Class F felony if you had a dangerous weapon in any of the acts related to the offense. If you’re charged with and convicted of a Class F felony, you could be sent to prison for up to 12 years and 6 months while paying a fine of up to $25,000.
Do You Need to Talk to a Wisconsin Stalking Defense Lawyer?
If you’ve been accused of stalking, we may be able to help you. Call us right away at 414-383-6700, or get in touch with us online for a free consultation with an experienced stalking defense lawyer.