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Stalking; More Serious Than You May Think

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

Defending Yourself Against Stalking Charges

Are you being accused of following somebody around or stalking them? It is possible for a straightforward confusion or a less significant situation to quickly become out of hand. Our attorneys at the Arroyo Law Firm have years of experience defending clients who have been charged with stalking or aggravated stalking. We are able to examine the details of your case in order to determine how exactly a criminal defense attorney from our firm can be of assistance to you.

Our legal team will take on cases of any size, no matter how big or how small, and we represent clients from all over the state of Florida.

Florida's Criminal Law Regarding Stalking

Criminal harassment, also known as stalking, is a serious felony. Stalking is defined as following someone around, making repeated contact with them, or following them online in the state of Florida. Cyberstalking also falls under this category. This is a misdemeanor of the first degree, which carries potential penalties of up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars. If a person commits the crime of stalking and then makes a credible threat of death or injury to the victim or a member of the victim's family, this behavior is considered to be aggravated stalking and may be punishable by up to five years in state prison and/or a fine of up to five thousand dollars.

An alleged victim of stalking may not only press charges against you, but also seek a restraining order against you if they feel threatened by you. Because of this, you won't be able to approach the victim within a certain radius of a certain distance. You might also be forbidden from making any kind of contact with the victim at all. It is possible that you will never be able to see your family again if you are accused of stalking a family member, spouse, or former spouse.

Comprehend The Concepts Of Stalking

According to Florida Statutes, the parameters described here are associated with crimes that will be categorized as a form of stalking. In order to gain an understanding of the gravity of the crime, these definitions are laid out in the following order:

  • The term "harass" refers to a situation in which a person engages in a pattern of behavior with the intention of aggravating or causing distress to the victim of the behavior (without any purpose).

  • The phrase "course of conduct" refers to a series of actions that occur over a predetermined amount of time and reveal a pattern of intent. These actions can be good or bad. (Picketing and other forms of public demonstration are not included in this classification.)

  • A "credible threat" is a threat (verbal and/or nonverbal) that may be delivered by means of electronic communication, verbal communication, or a physical threat, and that ultimately causes the victim to be in a state of fear for his or her own safety. In addition to this, the perpetrator of the crime needs to demonstrate that they have a good reason for committing the dangerous act that they are about to commit against the victim. (It is not necessary for the authorities to know whether or not the person actually intended to hurt the other person.)

  • A "cyberstalk" is a communication or an attempt to communicate (via words and/or imagery) via electronic devices with a victim, which serves no purpose whatsoever and is intended to instill fear in the victim. "Cyberstalk" can also refer to an attempt to communicate with a victim.

Fighting Off Accusations Of Stalking

There are a few different lines of defense that you can take, any one of which has a chance of being successful in challenging accusations of stalking. Among these defenses are the following, but there could be others:

  • Insufficient evidence of a credible threat. The person who alleges that they are the target of physical or verbal stalking or harassment frequently is unable to supply evidence supporting their claims.

  • The prosecution is unable to prove any of the essential elements. The prosecutor in any case involving criminal defense must "prove" that the defendant is guilty of all of the elements of the crime in order for the defendant to be convicted.

In a case involving stalking, it is the responsibility of the prosecution to prove that a pattern exists, that the alleged victim legitimately felt fear or emotional distress, and that there is a credible threat. In the event that not one, but all of these elements cannot be demonstrated, the accused person cannot be found guilty.

  • The presumed victim was not being truthful.

  • A case of mistaken identity. In certain circumstances, the alleged victim may intentionally identify someone else out of spite or revenge.

A Strong Defense In The Face Of Strong Allegations

Defense attorneys in Florida treat allegations of stalking as important subjects. Cases involving stalking, sexual violence, and domestic violence are handled specifically by investigators and law enforcers who have specialized training in this area. It is imperative that people who have been accused of stalking consult an attorney who has a proven track record of obtaining the best possible result in cases involving stalking and cyberstalking. This is because those who have been accused of stalking are facing serious charges.

Individuals who have been charged with stalking, cyberstalking, or aggravated stalking are vigorously defended by our firm. We are able to investigate every aspect of your case and locate weaknesses in the arguments made by the accusing party.

Any restraining orders or stalking charges that you may currently be facing can be disputed by our legal team, who will take the necessary steps to do so. At the Arroyo Law Firm, we have years of combined legal experience and the resources to thoroughly investigate your charges in order to develop a defense strategy that is more appropriate for your situation and more likely to be successful.

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