I have a protection order against a guy and I got a letter from the states attorney office informing me that they have issued an arrest warrant for him with criminal charges of stalking. Why do that when I have a protection order against him already? Are criminal stalking charges different
Yes, stalking and violation of a protection order are different offenses. Both are ordinarily Class 1 misdemeanors, but they are also both crimes of enhancement. That means the penalties get worse the more you are convicted of them. A third VPO or a second stalking within ten years are felony offenses. Additionally, stalking while a protection order is in place is also a felony under South Dakota law.
You would have to ask the State's Attorney's Office why they chose to proceed on stalking, as they are the ones who make the charging decisions.. One possible explanation is that the stalking occurred prior to the issuance of a protection order. Or, it may be they chose to proceed on stalking while the PO was in place so as to make it a felony, or maybe he has a prior stalking conviction already and so they wanted to get the felony charged that way.
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