Every state, including Connecticut, has a law on the books addressing the crime of stalking. Stalking is not a single act but rather a pattern of malicious behavior, such as repeatedly showing up at someone's house, or making frequent phone calls, for the purpose of intimidating them or causing actual fear for their safety.
We often think of stalking in the context of celebrities who are harassed by photographers and fans. However, the vast majority of stalking cases are related to domestic conflicts or child custody situations. For example, a stalker might make threatening phone calls to an ex-spouse or repeatedly show up at a former partner's place of employment.
Connecticut Stalking Laws
Connecticut's stalking law, which had not been updated since it went into effect in 1992, got a facelift in 2012. The update came thanks, in part, to new technology. Back then, most people weren't using the Internet or cellphones, so stalking was easier to define.
Now a victim can file a report against a stalker because of phone calls, emails and even text messages. They can also file reports in three different areas: where the victim lives, where they receive the communication, or where the communication is being sent from. Other additions to the law include extending restraining orders to a year or more, if necessary, instead of only six months, and protection in the workplace.
The stalking includes, but is not limited to, following the individual, waiting for them, monitoring and observing from a distance or close by, sending unwanted gifts or communicating through technological devices. A change to the "course of conduct" section of the law now states that third-party communication can be stalking. Whether the stalker directly or indirectly contacts the individual, a report can be made.
Learn more about Connecticut's stalking laws by reviewing the following table. See FindLaw's Domestic Violence section for related content.
|Code Section||53a-181c to 181e|
|Stalking Defined as||Stalking in 1st degree (53a-181c): Commission of stalking in the 2nd degree and (1) has been previously convicted of this section or 53a-181d or (2) such conduct violates a court order in effect at the time of the offense or (3) person is under 16 Stalking in the 2nd degree (53a-181d): When, with intent to cause another person to fear for his physical safety, he wilfully and repeatedly follows or lies in wait for person and causes person to reasonably fear for physical safety Stalking in the 3rd degree (53a-181e): When recklessly causes another person to reasonably fear for physical safety by wilfully and repeatedly following or lying in wait for such person|
|Punishment/Classification||Stalking 1st degree: Class D felony; Stalking 2nd degree: Class A misdemeanor; Stalking 3rd degree: Class B misdemeanor|
|Penalty for Repeat Offense||Stalking 1st degree: Class D felony|
|Arrest or Restraining Order Specifically Authorized by Statute?||-|
|Constitutionally Protected Activities Exempted?||No|
Connecticut Stalking Laws: Related Resources
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