Stalking Crimes in Florida
Law enforcement and the courts throughout the State of Florida take stalking offenses extremely seriously. Typically, stalking charges happen together with other crimes, such as domestic violence. Criminal stalking charges can be filed against anyone that participates in conduct with the intention of causing the victim emotional distress.
Although most stalking charges result from domestic relationships, a relationship with the victim is not essential. Victims can get an injunction for protection against domestic violence, in related stalking cases.
According to Florida Code Section 784.048, stalking is considered a 1st degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by a maximum of one year in jail. In order to be found guilty of stalking, the prosecutor has to show that the offender deliberately, maliciously and repeatedly tracked, harassed, or cyber stalked his or her victim. Harassment means that the offender’s actions directed at the victim resulted in significant emotional distress and had no legitimate function.
Three Types of Aggravated Stalking Charges
There are three separate kinds of aggravated stalking charges. The first, involves the offender deliberately, maliciously and repeatedly tracking, harassing or cyberstalking his or her victim and making a credible threat with a particular goal of placing the victim in reasonable fear of death or bodily harm.
The second type of aggravated stalking involves an offender deliberately, maliciously and repeatedly tracking, harassing or cyberstalking his or her victim. Additionally, a court must have previously ordered an injunction, on behalf of the victim, for protection against violence to be entered against the offender. The key component of this charge requires the prosecution to show that the offender knew about the court’s injunction for protection against violence.
The last kind of aggravated stalking offense has to do with an offender deliberately, maliciously and repeatedly tracking, harassing or cyberstalking his or her victim under the age of 16.
All three of the above aggravated stalking offenses are considered a 3rd degree felony, which can carry a maximum prison sentence of 5 years.
Stopping a Stalker
Being a victim of a stalker can be a very terrifying experience. A stalking injunction can be filed on the victim’s behalf. The process starts out with the victim filing a petition under oath for injunction for protection against stalking. The court will usually grant a temporary injunction until a hearing can be held. If at the hearing, the court grants a final injunction and establishes the victim was stalked, by the offender, a restraining order may be issued.
Contact a Lawyer Experienced with Florida Stalking Laws
If you have been the victim of a stalking crime and are in need of an injunction, or have been accused of a stalking crime, we advise you to hire experienced legal representation as soon as possible.
A well-informed Orlando criminal lawyer at Donna Hung Law Group will tenaciously and persistently fight on your side. After reviewing all the circumstances, we will create the most intuitive and tactical strategy for your case. Our main objective is to serve in the best interests of all of our clients.
Since being accused of stalking is a serious matter, you choose a former Orlando and Kissimmee criminal prosecutor determine your next step. Contact us online or call at 407-999-0099 to discuss your stalking charges concerns or charges in more detail.