Maryland passed a revised stalking statute, effective October 1, 2003.
Under the new law, “stalking” is defined as approaching or pursuing another where one knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear of serious bodily harm, assault, rape or sexual offense or attempted rape or sexual offense, false imprisonment or death. Stalking is also conduct that will likely cause another to suffer the above offenses, regardless of what the alleged stalker knew or should have known.
Prior to the revised law, establishing the crime of stalking required proof that the alleged stalker had the specific intent to cause harm to another.
Violation of the stalking statute is now a felony, rather than a misdemeanor, punishable by fine and/or imprisonment, and can be used as grounds for a protective order or peace order.
- On July 16, 2012