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What constitutes stalking in Illinois?

This blog has discussed on previous occasions how, following the end of a relationship, or in the course of an abusive relationship, one party may attempt to follow the other person around or otherwise make it clear to that other person that they are constantly lingering.

Being followed would make anyone uncomfortable, but that is especially so when that person is trying to get out of a relationship which in many cases was unhealthy or even abusive.

Legally, this sort of behavior is called "stalking," and, under certain circumstances, it can land the perpetrator in jail with a felony conviction.

Basically, a person is not allowed to repeat behavior which would make a typical person, such as one's former spouse or girlfriend, feel like they were about to get hurt. Moreover, a person may also not follow a person around or attempt to monitor their activities unless there is some reason for them to be doing so.

Not only is this behavior criminal, it is also grounds in Illinois for a type of restraining order called a Stalking No Contact Order. If a person has been the victim of stalking behavior, he or she can go to a court and get this type of order, in which a judge will specifically prohibit the person following, communicating with or otherwise bothering the victim.

Starting in 2018, this order will apply to situations in which a person uses a third party to communicate with his or her victim. The judge can also require a perpetrator to turn over any guns he or she may own or have.

Because prosecutors can enforce these orders with criminal penalties, it makes it easier for authorities to prevent talking when a victim obtains a Stalking No Contact Order. However, getting one of these orders is not always easy, which is why it may be helpful to have the assistance of a Lake County family law attorney with experience in domestic violence cases.

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