Stalking is characterized as a pattern or series of malicious behavior over a specified period. It is more than someone lurking in an alley or a bush outside someone’s house. Apart from the fact that it must happen more than once, stalking also refers to different forms of harassment such as vandalism, repeatedly calling someone’s place or business or work, or even leaving unwanted written gifts or notes.
In Florida, stalking victims have a civil remedy in the form of restraining orders. Otherwise referred to as an order of protection, a restraining order is an official court-issued document necessarily requiring or ordering a stalker to refrain from pursuing or contacting a stalking victim.
Remember that if the court deems stalking to involve a ‘credible threat,’ the charge moves from stalking to aggravated stalking. In this case, a credible threat means that, in the stalking course, the stalker made threats relating to bodily injury or even death, complete to cause the victim to fear for his or her safety. A suspect calling you and telling you that he or she is inside your house and will kill you is an excellent example of aggravated stalking.
At Lewert Law LLC, we understand how it feels to be wrongly accused of stalking. Why not allow us to defend you? Call us today at (561) 220-2441.
What is Legally Considered Harassment in Florida?
The state of Florida defines harassment as ‘any means used to engage in the course of conduct directed at a person which causes emotional distress to that person, and serves no legitimate reason or purpose.’ In this case, behavior includes making phone calls, sending text messages, emails, letters, and other types of digital and conventional communication.
Is It Illegal To Follow Someone in Florida?
Well, that depends on who is following you and for what reason. Police officers who follow a lead and keeping an eye on a criminal suspect are only doing their job. It cannot, therefore, be said that the police officer is harassing an individual.
If someone repeatedly follows you and harasses you, then that is stalking. Note that, ‘harass’ means to commit a series of acts over a certain period that serve no purpose, but cause substantial emotional distress.
A law enforcement officer can arrest anyone in Florida, without a warrant. If the officer believes that a suspect is about to commit stalking, is stalking, or has been stalking someone. First-degree stalking in Florida comes with a one-year jail term or a $1000 fine.
Why pay fine for a crime you didn’t commit? We’re there to defend you. Call us at Lewert Law LLC at (561) 220-2441.
In Florida, any threat of violence, either by action or word, that makes you apprehensive and fear immediate violence, is an assault. Remember that for the act to be termed as stalking or assault; there must be solid reasons to believe that the stalker can commit a violent act. For example, if a stalker yells something as you walk but does not follow you, but seems likely to commit a violent act, then that is assault. Please report it.
Dial 911 if you believe a person is following you. You do not have to wait for this to happen twice. Call in the first time you notice it.
Is Cyberstalking a Felony In Florida?
Cyberstalking can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the severity of the crime. If charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, a suspect faces up to one year in jail and a $1000 fine. Then there is aggravated cyberstalking, which is a felony. A suspect found guilty in this case can easily face third-degree felony charges, which may mean five years in jail, a $5000 fine, or both.
Why risk answering to cyberstalking charges without an attorney? Let us defend you. Call Lewert Law LLC today at (561) 220-2441. We’ll get you off the hook!
How do I Prove Cyberstalking in Florida?
To prove that there’s stalking or cyberstalking, you must verify the following, through the State Attorney’s office, beyond any reasonable doubt. You must prove that:
- The Defendant acted maliciously and willfully
- The Defendant repeatedly followed, harassed, and stalked you.
In nearly all cyberstalking cases, proving the real identity of the author of the message is critical. Law enforcement officers will first question suspects with the hope of obtaining a confession. Talk to your attorney first before making any statements if you’re considered a suspected in a cyber-stalking case.
Proven the person who sent communication is often hard because any individual willing to engage in cyberstalking may also be prepared to frame another person. Note that even a basic understanding of specific technologies like tweeting or text messaging can make it possible for a person to hide under someone else’s identity and frame an innocent person.
In many instances, communication between former business partners or ex-lovers that would typically be considered annoying or rude can easily result in a criminal investigation.
Additionally, former business partners or competitors can threaten to disclose embarrassing or confidential information about a company or an individual. These cases mostly hinge on whether there is a legitimate’ purpose for sending out communication other than harassment.
Lewert Law LLC has been in active legal practice long enough to see how many people get convicted for cyber-stalking and such like crimes. We have your back. Call us today at (561) 220-2441. Allow us to defend you and get you off the hook.