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Wakenight & Associates, P.C.

1100 Lake Street, Suite 120, Oak Park, IL 60301

Oak Park | 708-848-3159

DuPage County | 630-852-9700   Mokena | 815-727-6144

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Cook County divorce lawyer for online harassment

A divorce can occur for many reasons, and domestic violence is one of the most serious issues that may lead to the end of a marriage. This type of abuse can take many forms, including harassment, stalking, and electronic monitoring. Stalking is often thought of as the act of physically following someone, and it is not uncommon for an abusive spouse to continue to stalk his or her partner even if one party has moved out of the marital home they once shared together. In today’s online world, a person can also stalk or harass someone electronically via computers or phones. Electronic monitoring refers to videotaping or tracking an individual’s movements without consent by placing video cameras or audio recording devices in his or her home. Fortunately, there are actions victims of this kind of harassment can take to protect themselves and punish their stalkers. 

Stalking Defined 

Stalking is often defined as the act or crime of willfully and repeatedly following or harassing another person with the intent of causing anxiety, fear, or harm to that individual. It is important to note that a person can be charged with stalking someone if he or she remains outside of that individual’s home for more than 10 minutes at a time or for more than 30 minutes total in a 24-hour timeframe for a minimum of five times.

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Oak Park divorce attorney mental illness

Going through a divorce can be hard on everyone involved, especially if one spouse did not see it coming or does not want to separate. In many cases, one spouse has made the decision to divorce in order to get out of an unhealthy relationship, whether it be due to abuse, addiction, infidelity, or other reasons. Unfortunately, there are cases in which one spouse may try to intimidate the other spouse into staying in the marriage. This can include harassment or stalking, either in person or by electronic means. If these actions make a person feel unsafe or uncomfortable, he or she has legal rights and options to stop this threatening behavior and finalize the divorce as smoothly and as quickly as possible. 

Illinois Harassment and Stalking Laws 

Harassment is defined under Illinois law as conduct which is not necessary to accomplish a purpose that is reasonable under the circumstances, but that causes a reasonable person emotional distress. Harassment can include making an obscene or indecent comment or request with the intent to offend, threaten, or annoy another person. Harassment is a criminal offense, and a first conviction is considered a Class B misdemeanor, and it can result in up to six months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500. The second conviction is a Class A misdemeanor with a possible one-year jail term and a fine up to $2,500. Stalking occurs when someone watches or follows the victim on at least two occasions, and this causes the victim to feel that his or her safety is somehow at risk. Stalking is considered a Class 4 felony in Illinois, punishable by up to three years in a state prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.Aggravated stalking results in bodily harm to the victim and is a Class 3 felony. Aggravated stalking may also include restraining or confining the victim or violating a protective order or injunction. Aggravated stalking can be punished by up to five years in a state prison and/or a fine up to $25,000.While harassment and stalking are commonly thought of as unwanted contact in person, it is important to realize they can also occur electronically through phone calls, text messages, mail, email, or social media sites. 

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