Criminal Charges for Stalking a Crush

Adolescent relationships are difficult and confusing already without adding the possibility of criminal charges for stalking a crush.

Don’t be creepy

Stalking
Photo by: Jonathan Kos-Read

Teenagers frequently have a hard time approaching and asking out someone they like with fear of being turned down and humiliated. Instead of getting up the nerve to talk to their crush, some may linger nearby–watching, sneaking a picture or two to gawk at with friends, and maybe going as far as sending their crush an anonymous text. While this may seem like innocent behavior from a shy, love-struck individual, the one being stalked may be creeped out and file charges.

Stalking

When a person becomes aware they have someone tailing them, instead of being flattered it can be upsetting. They may notice someone observing them who stays hidden and never makes eye contact which can cause the crush to become fearful of the person’s intentions and therefore scared of being harmed. When the situation makes the crush worried or scared, it can be considered stalking.

Criminal charges

Photo by: Scott Comptois
Photo by: Scott Comptois

According to Utah State Code “a person is guilty of stalking who intentionally or knowingly engages in a course of conduct [such as following, photographing, communicating, threatening] directed at a specific person and knows or should know that the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person: to fear for the person’s own safety ( . . . ); or to suffer other emotional distress.” A first violation of stalking is a class A misdemeanor. Subsequent violations could result in felony charges. Since many cases of stalking among teenager could be the result of an innocent crush, it is important to talk to a juvenile defense attorney to help clear the air and ward off potential charges.

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