Law No. 14,132/2021 Typifies New Crime of Obsessive Persecution (“Stalking”) 

April, 2021 - Marta Saad, André Augusto Mendes Machado, Luciana Zanella Louzado

On March 31, 2021 Law no. 14,132/2021 was passed to include the crime of obsessive persecution ("stalking") in the Brazilian Penal Code, in the chapter of Crimes Against Personal Freedom, article 147-A.

The new law abrogates the misdemeanor of harassment or disturbance of tranquility, until now invoked to punish stalking behavior. The applicable penalty for the misdemeanor was 15 (fifteen) days to 2 (two) months in prison, or a fine, which was often incompatible with the gravity of certain stalking behaviors, which frequently lead to health damage or deprivation of the victim´s freedom.

The new crime of "stalking" applies to who stalks another person, either in person or through the internet, either threatening the victim's physical and/or psychological integrity, or restricting their ability to move around, or yet invading their privacy in any way.

The penalty for stalking is six months to two years in prison, plus a fine. Even with such more severe penalty (compared to the abrogated misdemeanor), the new criminal offense is still considered a crime of less dangerous potential.

The penalty can be increased to up to 3 (three) years in prison due to aggravating factors: (i) when the crime is directed against minors or the elderly; (ii) when it is directed against women, based on gender reasons; (iii) when it is committed by more than one person or includes the use of a weapon.

The penalties for stalking are independent and cumulative with penalties for physical violence that may be exerted against the victim.

The new crime of stalking requires the victim to formally press charges (criminal representation) within 6 (six) months from first knowledge of the offense.

The White-Collar Team of Veirano Advogados is fully available for any questions arising in connection with this new legal development.                                                                                                                                                                                                           


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