Stalking Charges in Washington State, Including Snohomish County
Stalking in Washington State can be either a gross misdemeanor or felony, depending on the alleged perpetrator’s history of similar offenses.
Stalking is generally committed when a person, without lawful authority (such as a court order) and in a manner not amounting to an “attempted felony,” intentionally harasses or repeatedly follows another person, AND the person being harassed or followed is placed in (reasonable) fear that the alleged stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of another, AND the alleged stalker is a) intending to frighten, intimidate or harass the other person, or b) knows or reasonably should know that the person is afraid, intimidated or harassed.
Note, the alleged stalker need not be warned by the alleged victim that that the stalker’s presence is unwanted. Even if the stalker did not intend to frighten, intimidate or harass the other person, he or she may still be found guilty.
Stalking may be even done electronically, such as by sending emails.
If the alleged perpetrator has prior similar convictions against the victim (or the victim’s family or household members), stalking is a Class C felony. It is also a felony if the stalker is armed with a gun, is violating a protective order, or is stalking a public official, juror, attorney (and many others) in retaliation for the victim’s performance of official duties.