Law Talk Episode 2: Stalker Laws (Happy Valentine’s Day!)

In honor of Valentine's Day, Virginia attorneys Jacob Tingen and Jonathan Jordan discuss Virginia's stalker laws, as well as DWI crimes in the state.

Jacob Tingen: Okay, welcome to Law Talk with Tingen and Williams and we’re doing this every Wednesday at around 11 AM. So you can call in for free legal consult. Tingen and Williams is a law firm here locally in Richmond, Virginia. And we do practice areas from immigration to family law and to criminal law to personal injury to just all sorts of stuff. And we enjoy what we’re doing. Last week we started off Law Talk with a discussion about constitutional rights and the Fourth Amendment right against search and seizure. And last week I was also here with my partner Jonathan Jordan. He’s back. We were going to keep talking about the constitutional law issue, but today we decided, it’s Valentines Day right?

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, we should do Love Talk.

Jacob Tingen: Love … so it’s not Law talk, it’s Love Talk except that we’re going to talk about legal actions that you can take when love goes wrong. Sop we will be discussing stalker laws and how to protect yourself under the law when love does not go as planned. So if there’s someone special in your life who maybe is perhaps a little too special on this particular topic, this is the video to share today.

So Law Talk with Tingen and Williams, our special Valentine’s Day episode, Jonathon, what do we got on the books for stalker laws.

Jonathan Jordan: So … our license to practice in and frankly every state is probably going to have different rules. But in Virginia, stalker laws are actually something relatively new. I can’t remember when it came out, but it’s been in the last several years that Virginia actually create the Stalker Law.
Before if you were a creeper lurking and following people and generally being a nuisance but you weren’t actually doing stuff to scare people or put them in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm and death and potential assault-

Jacob Tingen: Which would be an assault charge, right? I mean those are the-

Jonathan Jordan: Well we could get a protective order for that if they were putting someone in reasonable apprehension, but if you’re just being a creeper hanging out, they’re worried about you but maybe it doesn’t quite rise to the level of death.

Jacob Tingen: Loitering? Could they get you under loitering? I mean you have to really be-

Jonathan Jordan: Potentially. But it’s not … so what if they happen to just be following you 50 feet away or … the law didn’t quite get creeper behavior that didn’t rise to the level of really dangerous.

Jacob Tingen: “Creeper behavior.” So when was this law? This is a new law in Virginia, what year are we talking?

Jonathan Jordan: I can’t remember. I’d have to look but it’s fairly recent. I’m going to guess five years or so.

Jacob Tingen: All right, all right. But this is a good development that the law recognizes that even just hanging out, following people, typically women being followed by creepy dudes-

Jonathan Jordan: Or an ex, you know, an infatuated ex. And it can go the other way. A man could have a creepy ex-girlfriend or whatever following you around. But generally I think it’s men.

Jacob Tingen: Unfortunately. Well, so what do you do if you have a stalker? What are your rights under the Virginia Stalker Laws?

Jonathan Jordan: So, there’s a number of things. You have to kind of … I don’t know that there’s one right answer because typically it’s better to address the situation directly if you can and you won’t be in danger. If you know the person, or it’s an ex, you say-

Jacob Tingen: You could just say, “Get away.”

Jonathan Jordan: “Leave me alone. Get away or I’m going to take legal action.”

Jacob Tingen: “Stop texting me.”

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, or block them. You don’t have to automatically invoke the government to protect you on every circumstance. Usually you can say directly, “get away I’m not interested, back off. Stop following me or else.”

Jacob Tingen: Right.

Jonathan Jordan: But if that doesn’t work, obviously these people are pretty dedicated, then you’re going to have to step up your game a little bit. So in Virginia it’s under Title 18.2-60.3, in case you’re out there and want to look it up. It says, “Any person,” and then it creates an exception for law enforcement officers and-

Jacob Tingen: Actually Jonathan I’m going to put the code section in the Facebook Chat. What section are we looking at? Virginia code 18.2- what?

Jonathan Jordan: 60.3.

Jacob Tingen: Okay. So let’s start here.

Jonathan Jordan: So it creates an exception, so apparently law enforcement and private investigators in their duties can be creepy.

Jacob Tingen: So it creates an exception for law enforcement, but only when they’re on duty right?

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, when they’re going there … and for private investigators.

Jacob Tingen: Make sure that’s clear. Also, we posted the link to that code section here in our Facebook feed so if you want to look at that.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, if you go to their … anytime you want to look up a law in Virginia you go to the official government side. It’s legal L-I-S. I can’t remember what it stands for.

Jacob Tingen: But that’s where are the code of Virginia is listed.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah that’s where you can find the code of Virginia.

Jacob Tingen: And criminal crimes and offenses generally are Title 18.2. FIY, which is why every section of the criminal code, if we’re talking about the criminal code, it’s going to be Virginia Code 18.2- and then the specific section of the law or crime that’s being referenced.

Jonathan Jordan: Exactly. And that’s how they have it organized. But after creating the exception for law enforcement types, then it says, “Any person who, on more than one occasion engages in conduct directed at another person with intent to place, or when he reasonably known it would place this other person in a reasonable apprehension or fear of death, criminal or sexual assault, bodily injury to them or their family,” So you’re … the original language. But what this statute actually does, it creates a presumption. Sp if somebody is following you around and maybe if they do that, they’re automatically stalking. But if they do less than that, like they didn’t create the reasonable apprehension, they’ve just been following you around, what you can do is you can give them notice.
Once they’ve been contacted and told, “look,” Actual notice, you have to actually let them know that you do not want to be contacted or followed. And if afterwards they come back and contact you or follow you or creep around and do creepy stuff, then what the law does, it creates a presumption that that person intended to cause you reasonable apprehension, bodily harm, death-

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, because you’ve expressed that you don’t have to be contacted.

Jonathan Jordan: So it’d be reasonable if they ignore your request, that they mean you harm. And that’s what the law does. It kind of says you’ve told them, you’ve wanted them, they’re aware and they keep doing it so probably they mean you harm and the law is going to treat them as if they do mean you harm unless they can prove otherwise.

Jacob Tingen: All right, now, so just to kind of recap what we’re doing for those of you that are listening live, for Valentine’s day we’re talking about stalker laws in Virginia and how you can protect yourself if there’s a stalker out there for you. But Jonathan just pointed us to the Code of Virginia, which has the stalking law listed there. And what I’d like to do, I’d to talk about two things. One is the level of the punishment. I mean, it’s a Class I misdemeanor and if you do it again within five years, it jumps to a felony, which is pretty intense. And then additionally, I want to talk about what the meaning of, “if the person contacts or follows, or attempts to contact or follow a person whom the conduct is directed after being given notice to no longer do those kinds of things.” So I want to talk about stalking in the real world versus stalking in the digital world, because this leaves the door open to digital stalking too, is that correct?

Jonathan Jordan: Well, I don’t know that it [crosstalk 00:08:05]a door, it protects against digital stalking.

Jacob Tingen: It protects against digital-

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, if they’re contacting you through Facebook, through texts, through whatever-

Jacob Tingen: So you text an ex and you say, “Don’t call me anymore.” And then they send you a Facebook message and say, “You didn’t say don’t Facebook message me,” They’ve probably violated this law, right?

Jonathan Jordan: Probably, because that’s contact. Maybe, I don’t know, I think most judges are going to take the prior behavior and how creepy the person was being before-

Jacob Tingen: How creepy the … yeah they’re going to consider the creepiness.

Jonathan Jordan: -and then how invasive the subsequent contact is and sometime I think it plays over. If it was mild behavior and then they said Happy Birthday three years later, then probably they’re not going to be too worried about-

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, but that’s different from being persecuted almost versus like you said a three year later, happy birthday, just reaching out to test the waters, right? Although I don’t see here in the law any kind of time limit on the desire to no longer be contacted.

Jonathan Jordan: No it doesn’t put it in there, but I think judges are going to try to look at how reasonable it is. For example, I don’t know, your friends of friends, or your family members, sometimes stalking happens by family members or former loved ones. Just because you broke up doesn’t mean all ties are cut. Sometimes there’s back channels and maybe you’re still going to run into each other at carious places. And judges-

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, and people who know each other and were in love tend to have places where they’ll run into each other and people understand that.

Jonathan Jordan: [crosstalk 00:09:37] And judges I think can understand that and they’re going to try to look at that situation. That doesn’t mean you have to live in a cave after you’ve been contacted. But you want to be very … if you’re the person who’s been contacted, if you’re the alleged stalker, right? You want to be very careful of the kind of contact you have and probably it’s a good idea not to initiate anything. Obviously that’s a safe path, although if there is some sort of contact the judges are going to be looking at it to see if it was accidental and whether you were being creepy or not.

Jacob Tingen: Right. Now let’s talk about real world stalking. So we mentioned digital stalking briefly. But let’s talk about real world stalking. And if you’re just tuning in, we saw some likes flash up on our screen here. If you’re watching this video, so this is Law Talk with Tingen in Williams. We do this every Wednesday at 11 AM. You can either make a comment about what we’re talking about or any of the legal practice areas we do directly on Facebook or you can give us a call at 804-477-1720. Today for our special Valentine’s Day themes episode, we’re talking about the Virginia stalking law and how you can avoid problematic issues when love does not go as planned.
So we just talked about digital stalking. Let’s take real world stalking. So let’s assume someone is creeping you out and following you around. Before it becomes stalking for sure, do you have to tell them, “Hey, stop what you’re doing”? Or can just the general conduct previous to that count as stalking as well?

Jonathan Jordan: I’ve read some case law where the … I’m trying to remember. The law specifically says they need to be notified that they shouldn’t-

Jacob Tingen: That you’re creeping me out.

Jonathan Jordan: But I think the law also permits, if the stalking or prior behavior is so bad, so egregious, that it’s obvious that you’re creeping someone out, like they’re running from you or something like that, I think that would be taken as a given that you knew, or reasonably knew that you were creeping them out … and I think there was a case decision where when there was enough contact with enough frequency and enough creepiness, I believe it was the Supreme Court of Virginia said, “Yeah, that’s enough.”

Jacob Tingen: Right, right. Now, so I’m reading here the actual statute. And it adds this qualifier for stalking. I guess it’s kind of defining stalking as it goes along. It says, “who on more than one occasion.” So does stalking not occur if it only happens once? Does it has to happen more than once?

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, that’s stalking. If it’s one occasion, it’s an incident. You can’t stalk just once unless that once lasts for a long period of time.

Jacob Tingen: Right.

Jonathan Jordan: Like a deer in the hunt, Rambo in the woods or something.

Jacob Tingen: Right, right, right [crosstalk 00:12:30].

Jonathan Jordan: But generally it’s just somebody who’s so infatuated or so obsessed with somebody that they can’t let them live their lives, and every free moment the creeper is out there waiting for him, creating circumstances where they’re going to see them, run into them, scare them, something like that.

Jacob Tingen: Right, right. I want to … we did get a question so we want to respond to these live questions. And we’ll get back to our Valentine’s Day topic. No it was in Spanish, and Francisco [foreign 00:12:55]. We’re going to answer this question in English because today is the English day. We do this program also in Spanish on Tuesdays.
But the question is, so they gave him a DUI even though he was in a stopped car. Okay, and then he says that they were a little too rough with him when they pulled him out of the car and so now what can he do to the police. So I think the first thing to recognize is that even if the car is motionless when the police find you in it, if you’re drunk and you’re behind the wheel in Virginia, even in an unmoving vehicle, you can be charged and convicted of a DUI, correct?

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, we call it “driving under the influence” or “driving” … something like that.But in Virginia, you do not have to be driving at all. It’s actually if you’re operating the car, for example, if you have that ignition turned on and you’re sitting in the parking lot or something-

Jacob Tingen: And you’re listening to the radio.

Jonathan Jordan: [crosstalk 00:13:54]. You operated a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you’re technically … they can charge you with DUI.

Jacob Tingen: They can charge you with a DUI. Now if the police hurt your stomach, and that’s kind of what this question says, they pushed you and they hurt your stomach. You know, police are entitled to use a certain amount of, I guess, reasonable force. Maybe you can address that a little more Jonathan.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah. You have to see … it depends on whether a person was resisting. If you’re resisting and the police need to arrest you, they’re allowed to use all force reasonable to bring you under submission.

Jacob Tingen: Right.

Jonathan Jordan: And sometimes police don’t know how much you’re going to resist or … and they tend to be aggressive anyway because frankly, they don’t know who you are, and they think you’ve committing a crime and they really do have to restrain you and they’re worried about being hurt themselves. So generally, if an officer is restraining someone, by nature they’re using force. Then the question is, did they use too much? And if so, there may be options you can do there, but it has to be pretty bad to convince a judge that they used excessive force.

Jacob Tingen: So what we’re going to say to you Francisco is that there are legitimate times when a police officer can use excessive force. And if you feel that that has happened to you, if you’ve got doctors notes and significant bruising and perhaps witnesses too that can say, “Yeah, no, that was way too hard.” Feel free to come talk to us. It’s not the kind of things we could probably do over the phone either. We’d need you to come in and hopefully you have pictures too. But we’d need to know more about the scenario before we could say what can we do to the police for having pushed you that hard. I’m not going to say that there’s no hope for a case, because again, without seeing the extent of the bruising that you’re mentioning, I don’t know.
But my general sense is, is they charge you with a DUI and if that charge is legitimate in any way, even if you don’t get convicted of it, it would be hard to kind of push the other side and say, “Well, hey they way over reacted.” Again, not to say that you can’t, but the evidence has got to be good to prevail in a case like that.

Jonathan Jordan: And a lot of times officers are now wearing body cams. So as part of the case, we get a hold of the camera footage and see what they [crosstalk 00:16:17].

Jacob Tingen: They’re doing that locally?

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah.

Jacob Tingen: All the major jurisdictions? Henrico, Richmond, Chesterfield-

Jonathan Jordan: I don’t know which ones. I know Richmond does for sure. I believe Chesterfield does. It’s just a way to cover officers from allegations. And if they … they get these allegations all the time and then [crosstalk 00:16:29].

Jacob Tingen: Is Henrico doing it too?

Jonathan Jordan: I’m not sure. I’d have to check.

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, I’m not sure if they are. But if they are great. I mean, we think body cams are a good idea. It makes everybody safer and also, evidence suggests that the police act more responsibly when they know they’re being recorded when they’re wearing the body cams. So I think everybody should be in favor of body cams.
But back to our Valentines Day topic. Thank you for the question Francisco and I hope we got that answered for you. If you have more questions just give us a call, 804-477-1720. And happy to discuss it further.
But let’s get back to our topic of stalking. Let’s talk real world stalking. We already talked about how it has to happen more than one occasion for it to actually count as stalking. If something gives you a reasonable apprehension of harm and it’s the first time it’s happening you could still call the police and say, “Hey this is creeping me out.” And they can look into the issue.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah let me just be clear on that one because there’s two standards here. And for the stalking statute we need to be clear. If somebody actually gave you reasonable apprehension of hard, bodily injury, sexual assault, that kind of stuff, or towards your criminal sexual assault. These are certain standards. If you are anything close to that you can immediately get a protective order and you can [crosstalk 00:17:54] potentially charge under a stalking statute. The question is, well the difference of this stalking statute, where it really comes in, because I mean, people are already entitled to a protective order if there’s actual harm or reasonable apprehension of these listed harms. What the stalking statute does, is that contact that falls short of that but is repeated and the person’s warned, creates a presumption that they intended to cause you hard even though before that you really weren’t sure if it rose to that level.

Jacob Tingen: Yeah. So that’s actually a good segway to the next thing I wanted to talk to you about, which is protective orders. So that’s the end result of a stalking charge and conviction is that the person who was being stalked or was the victim of the stalking … yeah, so here in section D of this code section, “Upon finding a person guilty under this section, the court shall in addition to the sentence imposed, issue an order prohibiting contact between the defendant and the victim or the victim’s family or household members.” So tell me a little bit about that and protective orders generally.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, well before I jump there, let’s just talk about the penalty for stalking because we talked about it can be charged, it’s a class I misdemeanor and if repeated it can be a felony. So before we go to protective orders, let’s discuss what that actually means. In Virginia, they have a tier of, you could say, infractions or crimes [inaudible 00:19:17]. So it starts infractions. That tends to be maybe mild speeding [crosstalk 00:19:24].

Jacob Tingen: Traffic stops, non serious things are infractions.

Jonathan Jordan: And then it moves up to misdemeanors. When you get into misdemeanors, these are crimes. These are crimes that go on your records. These are crimes that come back in background checks. These are more serious. And generally, there’s few exceptions, but generally a misdemeanor comes with a possibility of jail time. Infractions do not.

Jacob Tingen: And a Class I misdemeanor would come with the possibility of [crosstalk 00:19:40].

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, Class I misdemeanor is rough … in the class they run them backwards. The bigger number is the lower offense. So a I is as high as you go in the misdemeanor category.

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, Class VI misdemeanor is the lowest, Class I misdemeanor is the highest misdemeanor punishments allowed.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, so Class I misdemeanor, that comes with a possible jail time of up to one year in jail and/or, it could be both, a fine of $2500.

Jacob Tingen: Right.

Jonathan Jordan: And they can put other restrictions in place, such as protective orders, which we’re going to get to in a second. But the repeated offense, I think it was within five years, if you get convicted again of stalking somebody within five years, that automatically bumps into the next class of crimes, and now we’re on felony territory.

Jacob Tingen: And Felonies are not fun.

Jonathan Jordan: No. Felonies-

Jacob Tingen: The potential jail time is much higher, right?

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, the minimum in the Class VI felony is one year in jail time and then maximum of five years. So we’re doing a whole new cap, it’s five times bigger penalty by going up one class, or bigger possible penalty. The judges ultimately decide how much you’re going to get. But the minimum in that is a year. So it’s much more serious. It’s like, “Oh you didn’t learn your first time? Here five years.”

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, yeah. So if you’ve been accused of stalking or if you’re creeping somebody out or you’ve got an ex-girlfriend or someone who is saying, “Please don’t text me.” If that happened last week, don’t try to make things work out on Valentine’s Day. Just leave it alone. Give that person the space, because you don’t want to be a stalker and according to the legal definition, you would be. And you also don’t want to pay the penalties of this kind of criminal charge or conviction.
All right. So are we ready to talk protective orders now?

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah.

Jacob Tingen: All right, so let’s talk protective orders. Let’s say you are charged and perhaps convicted of this. Now if I’m a judge, and I don’t know if it’s this way with everybody, and it would obviously depend on the egregiousness of the crime, but I think it’s important, when people hear, “Oh, one year of jail time.” Whoa, that’s crazy for somebody who texted twice. A lot of times jail sentences, that’s the allowed jail time. So a judge may not give you a year in jail for texting a girlfriend after she told you not to anymore.
If I’m a judge and I’m hearing that case, I might give you 30 days and then suspend that sentence. And if you want a suspended sentence, you may not need to serve it. But if I’m a judge I’m also going to impose a protective order. I’m going to do that at a minimum because then the punishments are more serious if you violate a direct court order. And I think that’s important for a potential creeper or non-creeper to know about. So tell us more about protective orders Jonathan.

Jonathan Jordan: So protective orders are kind of an interesting area of the law. Protective orders actually are not part of the criminal code. See, we have to understand the difference between criminal and civil. Criminal case id the government stepping in and saying, “You did something bad, you did something that’s prohibited and we’re going to send the law after you. We’re going to put a prosecutor on the case. We’re going to try to get a conviction. We’re going to go after jail time, a fine,” something like that.
A civil case, jail time doesn’t factor into a civil case. It’s just there’s a civil remedy. “This guy scares me. I don’t want him around. Please keep him away from me.” But what’s interesting with protective orders and the stalking law, is they cross. This is also true of say, family abuse or assault and battery or things like that. These things are prohibited by law with possible jail time, but there’s a civil side too and they don’t always have to go together.
Usually if there’s a criminal thing it’s going to bring the civil protective order. But you can actually not do … even if the police are not involved. Let’s say you have a stalker or a creeper or someone you think is … you don’t want them around. You can call the police and the police may or may not do something. But that doesn’t mean that’s the end of your rights. If you really feel like you’re afraid and you warned somebody, you can just go yourself down and you can sweat out an affidavit and you can get the protective order yourself.
So you skip the criminal justice side of the system and you go get a civil protective order. There’s three kinds of those and we’ll talk about what those are.

Jacob Tingen: So why would you do that on your own accord? You don’t want to make the police report first or … ?

Jonathan Jordan: Well, let’s say you report –

Jacob Tingen: Or maybe the police don’t do it.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, the police don’t do it or they don’t feel like they have enough evidence. Because the standard to convict somebody of a crime, they have to be found … In the end, the evidence has to be beyond reasonable doubt.

Jacob Tingen: So you may have a reasonable apprehension of harm, but when the police show up, there’s not bruises, there’s nobody that’s drunk or anything-

Jonathan Jordan: No outside witnesses [crosstalk 00:24:43].

Jacob Tingen: And there’s no outside witnesses, and it’s the first time it’s happened maybe, and those kinds of things where the police may say, “Look, I don’t know that we can even press charges on this.”

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, they might not act but that doesn’t exhaust your options.

Jacob Tingen: And that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t call the police in the future. Sometimes, I’ll hear people say, “Oh the police didn’t do anything.” Please, please, please call the police especially if you feel you’re in danger. We do work with clients who’ve been victims of domestic violence and other issues and we thought we’d talk about stalking on VAlentine’s Day as kind of somewhat related to the topic. But this is a serious topic, and we advocate for women and men who have been victims of abuse and violence at home and other places.
So if you feel like … anytime you feel in danger, it’s a good idea to call the police even if they’re not going to show up in time to prevent something bad, you want to know that they’re on the way and when they show up they’ll help document things and they’ll help connect you with court systems and they will help. Just because they didn’t help once doesn’t mean they’ll never help ever. For your own safety and protection you should call the police.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, and if the court … if the police get involved and the court gets involved in the criminal things, they have victim’s advocates that can go and help step these victims through the process as well. So there is a bit of a support system in a lot of jurisdictions.

Jacob Tingen: Right. And then I also want to add on the other side of that, digital stalking. Sending a double text, those kinds of things, I also want to point out that we also represent clients on the other side of this equation too and it’s always sticky and tricky to figure out what’s actually happening in cases like these. But just because you’ve been accused of stalking doesn’t make you a stalker. Okay? And so, you’ve got to defend your own rights but also protect yourself. So we’re pretty empathetic to people from both sides of the spectrum who come to us and say, “Hey, there’s this legal matter going on, what do I do next?”
But absolutely if you feel in danger, get a protective order. Absolutely if you feel like a protective order is bogus, get council, defend yourself and your rights and your ability to freely come and go as you please to places and people you love. Sometimes we see protective order in cases where there are families and children and it’s heartbreaking. But we really do want to help people and families in these kind of unfortunate protective order situations. We’ve seen that they affect people’s lives in big ways. But absolutely, for your own safety get a protective order if you need one.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah. I don’t know how much time we have left.

Jacob Tingen: We have like five minutes.

Jonathan Jordan: Okay. So exactly. Not every protective order is justified. People sometimes can take them out because they want to get a legal … try to get a legal agenda custody battle. I’ve seen some pretty shady ones. And protective orders are a little bit scary because basically to get a protective order, all somebody has to go in, at least the emergency one, right? They go in, they swear out an affidavit, they allege certain kinds of behavior. The other side, the person, the alleged abuse, stalker whatever, they don’t get to defend themselves until often 18, 20 days later is the first time they get to respond, but during those two, three weeks-

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, they’ve got to keep their distance.

Jonathan Jordan: They’ve been treated guilty, they’ve been thrown out of their homes. They can’t go get their own equipment. Maybe they can’t see their own children. It creates a lot of other problems and this is all based on one person saying something happened and the defendant, the respondent never gets a chance to defend him or herself until two or three weeks later [crosstalk 00:28:39] guilty.

Jacob Tingen: Because the impact of a protective order can be so big, filing frivolous protective orders is a pretty bad idea.

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah, it’s bad. It hurts actual victims. It creates distrust in the system. It harms, sometimes completely innocent spouses or friends-

Jacob Tingen: It’s a crime as well, isn’t it?

Jonathan Jordan: I mean, they might … it depends. I don’t know. If it’s obvious it’s frivolous, the court will probably do something. But sometimes its tough to tell.

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, sometimes it’s tough to tell. But yeah, so, well, anyway that’s kind of it for our episode to day of Valentine’s. We’ve discusses stalking. We had a question about DUI’s and we discuss protective orders. So if there is a loved one out there for Valentine’s day who’s asked you to stay away, please do that. Don’t reach out to anyone who doesn’t want to hear from you.
But for the rest of you, we’re hoping that you have a wonderful Valentine’s day and that you can be someone’s … I got a Valentine this morning from my wife before I left for work, so that was cool. And so we hope you appreciated this information about Virginia stalker law. And we’ll see you next Wednesday for Law Talk with Tingen and Williams and we’ll pick things back up with our constitutional rights discussion, right?

Jonathan Jordan: Yeah.

Jacob Tingen: Yeah, so we will see you then. Thanks again for tuning in and talk to you soon.

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