Stalking on College Campuses

Relationships are complicated. The complex nature of these partnerships coupled with inexperience and sometimes irrationality is a recipe for disaster. When a once loving relationship becomes rocky and ultimately ends, the parties involved may not know how to healthily cope with this reality. The pain of unrequited and unattainable love could cause people to act in ways that they normally wouldn't.

Unfortunately, failing to go to counseling or receive help during these times could lead to harsh legal ramifications in the event that a student crosses the line. Endeavors that a student may consider sweet and thoughtful could be interpreted as threatening by another person. If another party feels as if they are in danger, they could report to the authorities that they are being stalked.

Stalking is defined as a pattern of behavior that makes an individual feel afraid, harassed, or as if they are in danger. Students who are accused of this crime may not be aware that their behavior could be considered “stalking.” However, whether one is knowingly engaging in criminal behavior is irrelevant to school and law enforcement authorities. If an alleged victim feels unsafe on campus, these authorities will investigate and possibly prosecute based on the actions displayed by an accused student. Here is a list of behaviors that are commonly characterized as “stalking”:

  • Calling, texting, or emailing someone repeatedly after they have told you not to
  • Stealing things that belong to another person
  • Posting about another person on social media
  • Creating a website or blog about another person
  • Showing up to places that you know another person will be
  • Damaging another person's property
  • Sending gifts to another person
  • Keeping track of another person's schedule

How Can Stalking Affect My Standing as a Student of the College?

If a person reports that you have been stalking them, the consequences could be dire. Local law enforcement has been known to work with higher education institutions to identify students who are accused of criminal charges. If these charges are brought and a student is convicted, he or she will be delivered a permanent restraining order. This court order could prevent you from being in the same vicinity of your accuser, which limits your access to classes that you've had together, lunch facilities, your dorm room, and even your ability to be on campus. A violation of this order may lead to civil or criminal action by the alleged victim or the court.

Pennsylvania and New Jersey Student Defense Attorney

If you are a college student who has been accused of stalking a person, you should consult with an experienced legal professional. Skilled attorney Joseph D. Lento is dedicated to protecting your rights. Contact him today.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact our offices today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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