O.C.G.A. §16-5-90 is the Georgia statute prohibiting stalking. The paragraph outlining the prohibited conduct is so convoluted, only an elected representative could possibly derive any sense from it. This blog article will attempt to inform non-lawyers of activity which my constitute stalking in the State of Georgia.
You can be charged with stalking for:
1) Engaging in surveillance of another person
2) Any contact with another person
3) Any computer contact with another person
4) Any mail contact with another person
5) Any telephone contact with another person
6) Any computer network contact with another person
7) Any broadcast somehow communicating with or targeted at another person
The contact described above must be “harassing or intimidating” to constitute a crime.
The statute specifically defines “harassing or intimidating” as, “. . .a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes emotional distress by placing such person in reasonable fear for such person's safety or the safety of a member of his or her immediate family, by establishing a pattern of harassing and intimidating behavior, and which serves no legitimate purpose.”
Like all poorly-worded, ambiguous statutes, this one cites the term itself as part of the definition of that term.
Furthermore, no overt threat of death or bodily harm is necessary to establish a crime under this statute.
A first offense of stalking is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine, plus court costs.
A second, and subsequent, conviction for stalking is a felony punishable by 1-10 years in prison.
A word to the wise, if someone has expressed any desire for you to discontinue communication with them, STOP. The broad, ambiguous, language of this statute can easily be construed to criminalize the most innocuous and harmless persistency.
If you, or someone you know, has been charged with (or might be charged with) stalking, you may need a stalking defense attorney. You can contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 770-729-4809. For more information, visit my website at http://www.carnellfirm.com.