Charged with Stalking?  Nashville-Based Lawyer Can Help.

Stalking is a serious crime in Tennessee.  A stalking conviction could have dramatically negative consequences for your familial life, employment, and other areas of your life.   Defending against a stalking charge with the assistance of a Nashville stalking defense lawyer may avoid harsh penalties and protect your future. Nashville-based attorney Philip Clark is experienced at defending individuals facing stalking charges. 

What is Stalking in Tennessee?

Tennessee law defines stalking as “a willful course of conduct involving repeated or continuing harassment of another individual that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested, and that actually causes the victim to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested.”[1]

Key questions under this law include: (1) what is “repeated or continuing harassment?”; (2) did the victim feel terrorized or frightened?  and (3) did the conduct actually rise to the level of conduct that was intimidating, threatening, or harassing?

The stalking law also speaks of “unconsented contact” with the victim. It defines such “unconsented contact” as “any contact with another person that is initiated or continued without that person’s consent, or in disregard of that person’s expressed desire that the contact be avoided or discontinued.”[2]

Tennessee’s stalking law lists the following examples of conduct that may be considered stalking. These include the following: 

  • Following or appearing within the sight of that person;
  • Approaching or confronting that person in a public place or on private property;
  • Appearing at that person’s workplace or residence;
  • Entering onto or remaining on property owned, leased, or occupied by that person;
  • Contacting that person by telephone;
  • Sending mail or electronic communications to that person; or
  • Placing an object on, or delivering an object to, property owned, leased, or occupied by that person.[3]

Stalking is a Class A misdemeanor[4], though the punishment rises to a felony if the defendant is a convicted sex offender.[5]  The breadth of this law can be alarming.  You could be charged with stalking if you send repeated e-mail messages, text messages, or phone calls to another person.  That is why it is important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are charged with violating the Tennessee stalking law.   The reality is that your conduct may be innocent and legal, rather than harassing and illegal. 

The above examples show that the broad language of the Tennessee stalking laws can criminalize innocent behavior.    You should not be convicted of stalking unless you have actually engaged in conduct that rises to the level of harassment.  For example, the Tennessee Supreme Court has indicated that the prosecution must establish that the defendant’s conduct rose to the level of harassment and that the state must prove every element by the demanding standard of beyond a reasonable doubt.[6]   The Tennessee Supreme Court also explained that the prosecution must establish that the alleged victim actually suffered severe emotional distress caused by the defendant’s conduct. 

Hire Attorney to Defend Against Stalking Charges

If you face staking charges, you desperately need an effective criminal defense attorney to defend you.   Nashville-based attorney Philip Clark fits the bill.  He not only is a well-respected attorney but he also served nearly 20 years as a police officer in Metro Nashville. He knows how to advocate on your behalf.   He is a zealous advocate on behalf of his clients.  If you face stalking charges, contact  attorney Philip Clark at (615) 678-1033 or e-mail him at

[1] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-315(a)(4).

[2] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-315(a)(5).

[3] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-315(a)(5)(A)-(G).

[4] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-315(b)(2).

[5] Tenn. Code Ann. §39-13-315(b)(3).

[6] See State v. Flowers, 512 S.W.3d 161 (Tenn. 2016).