Stalking With GPS-2018 Oklahoma Laws #21

oklahoma stalking lawThis legislation changed the definition of “stalking.” Under Oklahoma’s law, it’s illegal to willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follow or harass someone in a manner that:

  1. Would cause a reasonable person or a member of the immediate family of that person to feel frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested; and
  2. Actually causes the person being followed or harassed to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.

“Harasses” means a pattern or course of conduct directed toward another individual that includes, but is not limited to, repeated or continuing unconsented contact, that would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress, and that actually causes emotional distress to the victim. Part of the definition of “unconsented contact” includes “following or appearing within the sight of that individual.” This legislation expanded on the definition of “following” to include:

  • the tracking of the movement or location of an individual through the use of GPS device or other monitoring device by a person, or person who acts on behalf of another, without the consent of the individual whose movement or location is being tracked. Note that this doesn’t apply to the lawful use of a GPS device or other monitoring device or to the use by a new or used motor vehicle dealer or other motor vehicle creditor of a GPS device or other monitoring device, including a device containing technology used to remotely disable the ignition of a motor vehicle, in connection with lawful action after default of the terms of a motor vehicle credit sale, loan or lease, and with the express written consent of the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle.

This law came about because an Oklahoma legislator was being secretly tracked by GPS. It’s believed that the secret GPS tracker was placed on his vehicle by someone in the wind industry due to his outspoken criticism of tax incentives for wind farms. This will limit–if not eliminate–the ability of private investigators to place GPS trackers on the vehicles of people they are following.

HB 3260 modified 21 O.S. § 1173. It went into effect on May 1, 2018.

Sources: HB 3260 and 21 O.S. § 1173; Article on this legislation from The Oklahoman

Charged with stalking in Oklahoma? Call Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer Frank Urbanic in OKC at 405-633-3420.

Don’t panic! Call Urbanic.® 405-633-3420