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Illinois Stalking Laws

Although stalking has only relatively recently been characterized as a criminal offense within the U.S., all 50 states now have some type of anti-stalking law on the books. These laws make it a crime to intentionally and repeatedly follow someone for the purpose of harassing that person with threats of violence. Celebrities often invoke stalking laws, as do former spouses or partners, along with the use of protective orders. While we often associate stalking with unwanted contact or communication that occurs in-person, stalking can also occur over a variety of other mediums, including: the telephone, mail, email, internet messaging, social networks, etc.

In Illinois, stalking is considered a class 4 felony that occurs when someone follows or watches the victim on at least two different occasions, causing the victim to feel his or her safety or well-being is at risk in some way. Illinois stalking laws characterize aggravated stalking -- a class 3 felony -- as that which results in (or is in conjunction with) bodily harm to the victim. Aggravated stalking also includes confining or restraining the victim, as well as violating a court protective order or injunction.

Read more about Illinois stalking laws in the table below. 

Code Section

Ch. 720 §5/12-7.3

Stalking Defined as

Knowingly and without lawful justification follows or surveils another on at least 2 separate occasions and threatens or places in reasonable apprehension; Aggravated stalking is stalking in conjunction with causing bodily harm, confining or restraining victim or violating court order or injunction.

Punishment/Classification

Aggravated stalking: Class 3 felony; Stalking: Class 4 felony

Penalty for Repeat Offense

2nd or subsequent conviction: Class 3 felony

Arrest or Restraining Order Specifically Authorized by Statute?

-

Constitutionally Protected Activities Exempted?

Picketing or exercise of the right of free speech or assembly that is otherwise lawful

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact an Illinois domestic violence attorney or criminal defense lawyer, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

More Information

For more general information on the topic, feel free to check out FindLaw’s section on stalking. You can also learn more about Illinois stalking laws by clicking on the links to the additional resources listed below. Finally, if you have more specific questions or need legal advice, consider hiring an Illinois criminal law attorney.

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