PA 15-175—HB 6971

Public Safety and Security Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF A GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM

SUMMARY: This act creates the crime of electronic stalking as a separate stalking crime and makes it a class B misdemeanor (see Table on Penalties). A person commits electronic stalking by willfully and repeatedly using a global positioning system or similar electronic monitoring system to remotely determine or track someone's position or movement, thereby recklessly causing the individual to reasonably fear for his or her physical safety.

Existing law, unchanged by the act, already imposes penalties for stalking ranging from a class B misdemeanor for 3rd degree stalking to a class D felony for 1st degree stalking, generally depending on the nature and extent of the stalking (see BACKGROUND).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015

BACKGROUND

Third-Degree Stalking

Third-degree stalking involves willfully and repeatedly following or lying in wait for someone, recklessly causing him or her to reasonably fear for his or her physical safety. This crime is a class B misdemeanor (CGS 53a-181e).

Second-Degree Stalking

Second-degree stalking includes knowingly engaging in a course of conduct directed at someone that would cause a reasonable person to perceive a threat to his or her physical safety or that of someone else. Second-degree stalking is a class A misdemeanor. “Course of conduct” means two or more acts in which a person directly, indirectly, or through a third party, by any means (1) follows, lies in wait for, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, harasses, communicates with, or sends unwanted gifts to a person or (2) interferes with a person's property (CGS 53a-181d).

First-Degree Stalking

A person is guilty of 1st degree stalking when he or she commits 2nd degree stalking and (1) he or she was previously convicted of 2nd degree stalking, (2) the stalking violates a court order in effect at the time of the offense, or (3) the victim is under age 16. First-degree stalking is a class D felony (CGS 53a-181c).

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