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Aggravated Stalking in Michigan

What is the Michigan Aggravated Stalking law?

MCL 750.411i

Aggravated Stalking in Michigan is a Felony, and it must be taken very seriously. If convicted, Aggravated Stalking is punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years.

DO NOT TALK TOTHE POLICE ABOUT YOUR AGGRAVATED STALKING CHARGES!

Instead - talk with a Michigan Domestic Violence Attorney - immediately!

Nothing can hurt your case more than your own words. In an Aggravated Stalking Charge police can twist your words, misrepresent what you've said, and "lose" audio and video evidence. Even when denying the charges, your own words could still play a part and potentially result in a conviction.

Prain Law, PLLC, is a Criminal Defense firm centered specifically on defending those accused of crimes involving some element of assault, including Aggravated Stalking charges under MCL 750.411i.

What exactly is Aggravated Stalking in Michigan? How is Aggravated Stalking defined?

The principal definition of Aggravated Stalking is found in the Michigan Aggravated Stalking statute (MCL750.411i). It states:
(1) As used in this section:
(a) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of 2 or more separate noncontinuous acts evidencing a continuity of purpose.
(b) “Credible threat” means a threat to kill another individual or a threat to inflict physical injury upon another individual that is made in any manner or in any context that causes the individual hearing or receiving the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety or the safety of another individual.
(c) “Emotional distress” means significant mental suffering or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling. (d) “Harassment” means conduct directed toward a victim that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact that would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress and that actually causes the victim to suffer emotional distress. Harassment does not include constitutionally protected activity or conduct that serves a legitimate purpose.
(e) “Stalking” means a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
(f) “Unconsented contact” means any contact with another individual that is initiated or continued without that individual's consent or in disregard of that individual's expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued. Unconsented contact includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:
(i) Following or appearing within the sight of that individual.
(ii) Approaching or confronting that individual in a public place or on private property. (iii) Appearing at that individual's workplace or residence.
(iv) Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual.
(v) Contacting that individual by telephone.
(vi) Sending mail or electronic communications to that individual.
(vii) Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by that individual.
(g) “Victim” means an individual who is the target of a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment.
(2) An individual who engages in stalking is guilty of aggravated stalking if the violation involves any of the following circumstances:
(a) At least 1 of the actions constituting the offense is in violation of a restraining order and the individual has received actual notice of that restraining order or at least 1 of the actions is in violation of an injunction or preliminary injunction.
(b) At least 1 of the actions constituting the offense is in violation of a condition of probation, a condition of parole, a condition of pretrial release, or a condition of release on bond pending appeal.
(c) The course of conduct includes the making of 1 or more credible threats against the victim, a member of the victim's family, or another individual living in the same household as the victim.
(d) The individual has been previously convicted of a violation of this section or section 411h.
(3) Aggravated stalking is a felony punishable as follows:
(a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both.
(b) If the victim was less than 18 years of age at any time during the individual's course of conduct and the individual is 5 or more years older than the victim, by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $15,000.00, or both.
(4) The court may place an individual convicted of violating this section on probation for any term of years, but not less than 5 years. If a term of probation is ordered, the court may, in addition to any other lawful condition of probation, order the defendant to do any of the following:
(a) Refrain from stalking any individual during the term of probation.
(b) Refrain from any contact with the victim of the offense.
(c) Be evaluated to determine the need for psychiatric, psychological, or social counseling and, if determined appropriate by the court, to receive psychiatric, psychological, or social counseling at his or her own expense.
(5) In a prosecution for a violation of this section, evidence that the defendant continued to engage in a course of conduct involving repeated unconsented contact with the victim after having been requested by the victim to discontinue the same or a different form of unconsented contact, and to refrain from any further unconsented contact with the victim, gives rise to a rebuttable presumption that the continuation of the course of conduct caused the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.
(6) A criminal penalty provided for under this section may be imposed in addition to any penalty that may be imposed for any other criminal offense arising from the same conduct or for contempt of court arising from the same conduct."

Elements that Must be Proven to be Convicted of Aggravated Stalking Charges in Michigan.

Where Aggravated Stalking charges are concerned, the law can be confusing. To get a straightforward picture of the law just as a Judge or Jury would see it in your case, we need to look at the Michigan Aggravated Stalking Jury Instruction (M Crim JI 17.25). Here are each of the things the Prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • First, that you committed two or more "willful, separate, and noncontinuous acts of unconsented contact" with the alleged victim.
  • Second, that the contact would cause a reasonable individual to suffer emotional distress, regardless of how the alleged victim actually felt about the contact (the "objective" test).
  • Third, that the contact actually caused the alleged victim to suffer emotional distress (the "subjective" test).
  • Fourth, that the contact would cause a reasonable individual to feel any of the following ways: terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, regardless of how the alleged victim actually felt about the contact (another "objective" test).
  • Fifth, that the contact actually caused the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested (another "subjective" test).
  • Sixth, the alleged act of stalking was (at least one of the following):
    • committed in violation of a court order;
    • committed in violation of a restraining order of which you had actual notice;
    • included you making one or more credible threats against the alleged victim, a member of their family, or someone living in the same household as them; or
    • the second (or third, fourth...) conviction for a Michigan Stalking crime.

Does the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act ("HYTA") apply to Aggravated Stalking Charges?

Those who are convicted of Aggravated Stalking Charges are eligible for HYTA unless the offense involved certain factors of Michigan Criminal Sexual Conduct Charges.

What is the Sentence for an Aggravated Stalking Charge? Will I go to Jail or Prison for Aggravated Stalking in Michigan?

Aggravated Stalking is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in Prison or a fine of not more than $10,000.00, or both.

If the victim was less than 18 years of age at any time during the individual's course of conduct and the individual is 5 or more years older than the victim, by imprisonment for not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $15,000.00, or both.

If you are convicted of Aggravated Stalking, even if you are not sent to Jail or Prison, the Court MUST place you on Probation for a minimum of 5 years all the way up to a Probation for "any term of years."

From the moment you are arrested, if you are released on Bond, the Court may also require you to wear a restrictive GPS Tether and to undergo an invasive psychological evaluation, all at your own expense.

As frightening as the thought of this is, you must remain diligently focused on defending yourself against these charges by hiring the right Michigan Domestic Violence Lawyer.

At Prain Law, PLLC, we are particularly committed to advocating on behalf of those accused of Assaultive crimes, including Michigan Aggravated Stalking Charges under MCL 750.411i.

If you would like to speak to our dedicated Michigandomestic violence lawyer at Prain Law, PLLC you may reach us anytime at (248) 731-4543. Need answers but unable to speak on the phone? Use our Contact Form.

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