What is Stalking?

Stalking is a form of harassment. It occurs when one person follows or harasses another person on an ongoing basis, particularly when this action causes the person being followed to fear for his or her safety.

According to RCW §9A.46.110, a person is guilty of stalking if, without lawful authority, he:

  1. Intentionally and repeatedly harasses or repeatedly follows another person (the victim);
  2. The victim is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure him, his property, or another person. The fear must be reasonable, such that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience; AND
  3. The stalker either intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the victim, OR knows or reasonably should know that the victim is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to place the victim in fear or intimidate or harass the victim.

There is an exception to this law: licensed private investigators who are following others as part of their jobs and within the capacity of their licenses are not to be found guilty of stalking.

Penalties for Stalking in Washington:

Stalking is usually considered a gross misdemeanor, which RCW §9A.20.021 defines as punishable by up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, or both.

However, stalking can be considered a class C felony when certain aggravating factors are present, in which case, pursuant to RCW §9A.20.021, it is punishable by up to five years in prison, a maximum fine of $10,000, or both. Such aggravating factors include previous stalking convictions, stalking individuals specifically named in protective orders, stalking someone while armed with a deadly weapon, and stalking certain types of individuals (such as judges, jurors, law enforcement officers, etc.), among other factors.

Defending a Stalking Charge:

There may be multiple ways to defend a stalking charge. One possible strategy is to prove that the victim's fear was not reasonable. It is crucial that you enlist in the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney to develop a solid defense strategy.

Client Reviews
Mark C. Blair has no rival in his field in Seattle. A consummate professional. Communication was brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and without a typical condescending tone you can sometimes experience from attorneys on top of their field. Correspondence was timely and always affective. Any in need of criminal defense, should have a conversation with Mr. Blair, and you will quickly see and feel, no further contacts, referrals, or phone calls need be made. The money and time that can be saved by streamlining future contact and collateral damage in the sentencing process will far and away be worth every penny of the fee structure. Thank you very very much Mark Blair. N.Mark French
Sara Kim of BlairKim is a great attorney. I had never before had representation or dealt with the legal system and she made it very easy for me. She converted the legalese into laymans terms for me and helped me to understand the steps of the process. When I hesitated on certain decisions, Sara gave me the confidence and encouragement to proceed – especially since it was most beneficial to me in the long run. Sara is very straightforward and professional while also being personable and pleasant to deal with. Tamara
Sara Kim was the perfect lawyer for our situation. We were determined not to involve the courts in our divorce. Within the first 30 minutes of consultation, Sara proposed an equitable formula for division of property which we used to negotiate an agreement that felt fair to both of us. Our flat fee arrangement with Sara covered the filing of paperwork which alleviated much pressure for us during a very stressful time. I highly recommend Sara for her flexibility, professionalism, and efficiency. Carrie