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Maryland

Local Resources

Stalking often occurs along with other crimes, like domestic violence and sexual assault. While there are no state coalitions for victims of stalking, many domestic violence and sexual assault programs are able to provide assistance. Many of the resources can be confusing to navigate, victim advocates are available to talk to you about address confidentiality and your states criminal stalking laws. Victim advocates can also assist you with safety planning, keeping a log of stalking incidents, and how to be safe when using technology. Find services and/or an advocate in your county using the following links:

Address Confidentiality

Address confidentiality programs allow victims of stalking, sexual assault, domestic violence, or other types of crime to receive mail at a substitute address, which keeps their actual address private and prevents offenders from locating the victim through public records. Mail is sent to the legal substitute address, often a post office box, and then forwarded to the victim’s actual address. The substitute address can be provided whenever the victim’s address is required by a public agency.

Click here for more information on the Address Confidentiality Program in Maryland.

Criminal Stalking Laws

Criminal stalking laws define when a perpetrator may be charged with the crime of stalking, and what infractions are required to bring such a charge. The laws usually define various misdemeanor and felony offenses that correlate with the severity of the transgression. Based on police investigation, a state prosecutor will determine what charges to bring against an offender, and will then file charges against the perpetrator (formally known as an indictment). A trial typically follows, and the defendant may be offered a plea agreement. The criminal statute will also delineate potential punishments, if the perpetrator is convicted, which may include probation, house arrest, and incarceration, among others. Restitution may be requested and awarded to the victim by court order following a conviction, usually at a sentencing hearing.

Click here for more information on criminal stalking laws in Maryland.

National Resources

  • VictimConnect Resource Center - Confidential information, support and referrals for victims of crime via telephone, chat and text including safety planning and crime reporting.
  • WomensLaw.org - State-specific legal information related regarding protection orders, custody, divorce, state gun laws and more. WomensLaw.org also operates an email hotline where victims, their family/friends and advocates can write to ask legal questions.

Address Confidentiality

The Maryland State Address Confidentiality Program assists crime victims who have relocated. Click here to find help with your application in your county. Click here to learn more about what the program in your state covers.

Contact Information

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Criminal Stalking Laws

Md. Criminal law Code Ann. § 3-801. "Course of conduct" defined.  (2002)
In this subtitle, "course of conduct" means a persistent pattern of conduct, composed of a series of acts over time, that shows a continuity of purpose.

Md. Criminal law Code Ann. § 3-802. Stalking. (2011)
(a) "Stalking" defined. -- In this section, "stalking" means a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where the person intends to place or knows or reasonably should have known the conduct would place another in reasonable fear:

(1)

(i) of serious bodily injury;

(ii) of an assault in any degree;

(iii) of rape or sexual offense as defined by §§ 3-303 through 3-308 of this article or attempted rape or sexual offense in any degree

(iv) of false imprisonment; or

(v) of death; or

(2) that a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in item (1) of this subsection.

(b) Prohibited. -- The provisions of this section do not apply to conduct that is:

(1) performed to ensure compliance with a court order;

(2) performed to carry out a specific lawful commercial purpose; or

(3) authorized, required, or protected by local, State, or federal law.

(c) Applicability. -- A person may not engage in stalking.

(d) Penalty. -- A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $ 5,000 or both.

(e) Sentence. -- A sentence imposed under this section may be separate from and consecutive to or concurrent with a sentence for any other crime based on the acts establishing a violation of this section.

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