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Franklin Divorce Attorney > Blog > Criminal > Aggravated Stalking in Tennessee

Aggravated Stalking in Tennessee


In Tennessee, stalking is a criminal offense that can lead to serious charges and consequences. While not every instance of stalking comes from a domestic violence dynamic, a large percentage of stalking cases do arise from actions taken, or interactions between partners or ex-partners. Stalking and harassment have a variety of consequences: they can lead victims to an unearned fearful existence, and to those wrongfully accused, the accusations can unfairly damage your reputation and leave you with a felony on your criminal record.

Many victims of abuse are unsure if the behavior the “perpetrator” is exhibiting is actually a criminally chargeable offense. Many accused of aggravated stalking or domestic violence might feel that the allegations are inaccurate, untrue, or completely blown out of proportion. Wherever you stand in your own Tennessee stalking or domestic violence case, the experienced family law and criminal defense attorneys at Cardwell, Steigerwald Young can help you understand the best next steps forward in your own case.

Tennessee Stalking

Tennessee law has developed to define “stalking” as a deliberate course of behavior which involves harassing another person repeatedly. To constitute a crime, the stalking conduct must reasonably, and actually cause, the victim to feel threatened, harassed, frightened, intimidated, or terrorized. Stalking behavior includes direct or indirect contact that would reasonably cause emotional distress, and that has been made in spite of the victim’s lack of consent, or expressed non-consent and desire that the “perpetrator’s” actions would stop.

Tennessee “Aggravated Stalking”

While the above generally discusses what qualifies as “stalking” in Tennessee, a charge of “Aggravated Stalking” requires more. Tennessee courts might convict someone of an aggravated stalking charge if the court finds that stalking has been committed along with another aggravating factor, examples of which are discussed below.

  • Aggravated Stalking with a Deadly Weapon

If the accused displays a deadly weapon while stalking the victim, and uses it to further their improper actions, they could be found guilty of aggravated stalking.

  • Aggravated Stalking of a Minor

An aggravated stalking charge may come if the stalking victim was under eighteen years old at any point of the stalking, and the accused is at least five years older than the victim.  If the victim was under 12 years old and the accused at least 18, then “especially aggravated” stalking may be charged.

  • Aggravated Stalking for Subsequent Offenses

Sometimes, prior stalking convictions can impact the severity of subsequent charges. For example, a stalking charge might be elevated to an aggravated stalking charge if the accused has been convicted of a stalking offense in the last few years. If the prior conviction involved the same victim as the current charges, then the accused could be charged with especially aggravated stalking, regardless of how long ago the previous stalking conviction occurred.

  • Stalking in Violation of Court Order

A stalking offense may be elevated to an aggravated stalking charge if the accused took these actions during a timeframe in which the accused had been prohibited from contacting the alleged victim.

Contact Fort, Holloway, Rogers 

Contact the Franklin criminal defense lawyers at Fort, Holloway, & Rogers, LLC to discuss the details of your own case. Our experienced team can help you to understand your legal standing, and what your next best steps might be. Contact us today to begin discussing your case with our team.




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