How serious is Stalking?
Under Florida law, stalking is communicating or physically following someone for no legitimate reason, in a way that causes emotional distress. Stalking includes harassment in person, over the Internet, over the telephone or anywhere else where a person can be reached.
In fact, cyberstalking is explicitly prohibited under Florida law. What formerly was considered by many to be merely bothersome, rude or a normal reaction to a relationship ending has become criminalized under Florida’s Stalking laws and can subject an individual to severe penalties.
Stalking laws can be vague about the difference between mere persistence and genuine harassment and stalking behavior; it may ultimately be up to the subjective judgment of law enforcement officers in deciding whether to make an arrest. The Law Firm of Steven W. Bowden can assist you by providing a Pensacola stalking defense attorney from the Firm to represent you in working towards clearing up and challenging cases that may be simple misunderstandings, overheated temporary disputes that occurred in a relationship, an exaggerated complaint for behavior which is bothersome, but not stalking, or a "he said, she said" situation where there is a clear dispute about the allegations made against our client. Often times one accused of stalking finds that they are charged with an offense or subject to a restraining order, even though the alleged victim initiated the initial contact or that the contact was initially viewed as mutually acceptable.
Conviction for Stalking
A conviction for stalking can carry punishments ranging from probation up to fifteen years in state prison, depending on the circumstances and the type of stalking charged.
A defendant may be charged with aggravated stalking if he or she makes a credible threat of violence, violates a restraining order or other court order, repeats the offense or stalks a minor under 16. If you are accused of any type of stalking or harassment, you could face not only possible incarceration, but other sanctions as well. A Pensacola criminal defense stalking lawyer from our Firm can represent you in Escambia County, Santa Rosa County and Okaloosa County and provide you the advice, counsel and help you need as you face these challenging charges.
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An allegation of Stalking can have a devastating effect on your reputation, your livelihood and overall well being.
It is crucial that a Stalking case is handled with extreme care and caution by an experienced Stalking Defense Lawyer. Each Stalking case needs to be examined to determine if it can be dismissed and removed from your record. If this is a first offense, the courts in Escambia County all have programs designed for first time youthful offenders which will may ultimately result in a reduction of your Stalking charges. You may also be eligible to seal or expunge your Stalking case.
We offer aggressive and skilled representation to individuals accused of Stalking in Escambia County, Santa Rosa County and Okaloosa County. If you were recently arrested for Stalking or are facing any Stalking charge in Pensacola, Milton, Pace, Gulf Breeze or Fort Walton, contact a Stalking Defense Lawyer at The Law Firm of Steven W. Bowden for immediate help
Florida Statutes section 784.048 - Stalking.
the best possible outcome.
(a) "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose.
(b) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct." Such constitutionally protected activity includes picketing or other organized protests.
(c) "Credible threat" means a threat made with the intent to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety. The threat must be against the life of, or a threat to cause bodily injury to, a person.
(d) "Cyberstalk" means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
(2) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(3) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person, and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury of the person, or the person's child, sibling, spouse, parent, or dependent, commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree.
(4) Any person who, after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence pursuant to s. 784.046, or an injunction for protection against domestic violence pursuant to s. 741.30, or after any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the subject person or that person's property, knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree.
(5) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks a minor under 16 years of age commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree.
(6) Any law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person he or she has probable cause to believe has violated the provisions of this section.
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