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Is stalking illegal in Minnesota?

When a person believes someone is stalking them, or finds verifiable proof of stalking, it can often feel paralyzing to the victim. Stalking is a behavior based on violating someone's boundaries or safety to give the stalker some degree of control or release over their victim. Not only is this behavior clearly unethical, it is also a crime in many states, including Minnesota.

Stalking is a serious crime, and some types of stalking even qualify as felony offenses. If, for instance, a person stalks a victim because of some discriminatory reason such as race, sexual orientation or religious persuasion, courts often rule such behavior to be a felony.

Courts may also hand down felony convictions for stalking of a person younger than 18 years old by someone more than 36 months older. Similarly, stalking that involves the perpetrator carrying a firearm often results in that person losing the right to possess firearms for at least three years, and possibly may result in loss of firearm privileges for life.

If you believe that someone has been stalking you, you should address the matter with the proper authorities. An attorney may be able to obtain a restraining order for you from the court. You deserve an understanding legal professional to explain your legal options.

This is especially important when your sense of safety and security has already been violated. Choosing to fight back against a stalker can offer you unique legal protections. It can also be empowering, giving you back the sense that you remain in control of the helm of your life.

Source: FindLaw, "Stalking," accessed Dec. 15, 2017

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