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Do You Know What Federal Law Says About Stalking? Probably Not… (Pt 2)

A cat stalking a bird in the road.
When a predator in the wild stalks their prey, it’s natural. When a person stalks another person, it’s against the law!

Welcome back and thanks for joining us here at The Kronzek Firm again. We’ve been looking at the federal stalking statute (which is what federal law says about stalking) and it’s very serious stuff! As we mentioned in the previous article, stalking isn’t just following someone around and watching them. It can also include harassment, threats, and physical injury. In extreme cases, victims have been killed right here in Michigan. 

What’s the difference between a federal and a state stalking charge?

Here in Michigan (just like in any other state) you can be charged at a local or state level by your county prosecutor – and those charges would be based on the Michigan criminal law. Or you can be charged at a federal level by a federal prosecutor, and those charges would be… yes, you guessed it – federal charges. (Where you commit the crime in Michigan determines which county court you’d be charged in if the charges were local. So Lansing crimes would be handled by the Ingham County Court, but Grand Rapids crimes would be dealt with in the Kent County Courts and stalking cases in Novi would be charged in Oakland County..)

There are huge differences between being prosecuted by the feds, and being prosecuted by your local county prosecutor. (Neither is fun, but it’s often more serious when the feds do it!) The courts are different, the processes are different, and the consequences are different. And what exactly are those consequences? Let’s take a look.

What are the consequences of a federal stalking conviction?

There isn’t only one consequence for a federal stalking conviction, because it makes a difference as to what happens to the victim. Were they followed around and felt intimidated but never physically harmed? Or were they assaulted? Did the stalker maim the victim’s pet, or maybe even kill the victim’s child? There are many factors that affect how this will be prosecuted, and what the federal sentence is likely to be if you’re convicted. For example:

  • If the victim dies, the penalty could be any number of years up to life in prison.
  • If the result is permanent disfigurement or life-threatening bodily injury to the victim, the punishment is 20 years in prison.
  • if the defendant causes serious bodily injury to the victim, or if they use a dangerous weapon while committing the offense, the punishment is 10 years behind bars.
  • Any other type of stalking is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, and
  • Stalking someone in violation of a temporary restraining order could mean up to 1 year in prison.

Make sure you have the right defense attorney for the job!

Fighting the feds in court is much harder than fighting the state. The feds have different rules of disclosure, deeper pockets, and much more severe penalties! So facing federal charges means having a defense attorney who is authorized to practice in Michigan’s federal courts, knows how tough the process is going to be, and isn’t intimidated by what they’re up against. And that’s where we come in. 

Here at The Kronzek Firm, our aggressive and hard-working criminal defense attorneys have spent more than half a century fighting to protect and defend the people of Michigan, both in Michigan’s courts and in federal court. Every one of our attorneys is admitted to practice in federal courts and some of our attorneys are authorized to fight cases in the federal courts in other states as well. We know how steep this mountain is, because we’ve climbed it many times before, and we have a long track record of success. Call us at 866 766 5245 today, and get the right help. Federal charges are no joke, and we’re ready to fight for you. .

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