A relationship may exist between stalking and domestic violence. When an ex-spouse, partner, relative or other person breaks up with someone, he or she may start to harass the other person with repeated unwanted contact. The actions could rise to the level of threatening behavior or even physical violence. The law in Illinois takes stalking seriously, and a victim of stalking could seek a restraining order as a measure of protection.
A person who commits stalking may be arrested for several different crimes. The crimes are not typically “stalking,” but they may reflect separate actions related to stalking behavior. For example, if someone shows up at another person’s home and commits an assault, he or she may face charges of assault and battery.
Illinois law does define stalking as a crime in its statutes. There are many criteria that someone must meet in the state before facing stalking charges, including a “course of conduct” reflecting “two or more acts.” Stalking is a class 4 felony in Illinois, and aggravated stalking is a class 3 felony. Felonies bring with them the potential for jail time and fines.
An individual worried about a stalker could seek a restraining order from an Illinois court. The restraining order would require the person named in the protective order to stay away from the victim and any other specified individual.
Even after procuring a restraining order, the victim may worry about the stalker’s potential actions. Criminal case histories show that some people violate restraining orders.
In some cases, people find themselves falsely accused of domestic violence. Such individuals may seek counsel to defend themselves against protection order claims. Stalking and domestic violence are separate crimes, but an individual may need an attorney to defend against both.