AP NEWS

Lawmakers to consider harsher penalties for stalking

January 29, 2020 GMT

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Legislators in South Dakota are considering harsher penalties for stalking if a person has been convicted of similar charges in another state.

Currently, out-of-state stalking convictions cannot be considered in court, unlike assault or drunken driving convictions that occur elsewhere.

The first stalking conviction is a misdemeanor and automatically triggers a restraining order.

“If the law says that if you have one prior stalking conviction and you get convicted of another one and it enhances, certainly makes sense that if you’ve done that across state lines it should be considered, we don’t have that in the statues now,” longtime attorney Tim Rensch tells KOTA-TV.

The bill is to be considered by the House Judiciary Committee this session. A hearing date has not been set.