Stalking

Criminal Lawyer

Stalking is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail. For a person to be convicted of stalking, the State needs to prove that the defendant willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed, harassed, or cyberstalked the victim.

The definition of harass means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress and serves no legitimate purpose.

The definition of cyberstalk means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by e-mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

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.


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First, stalking requires more than one act. However, the law is vague about how many acts need to be proven to be considered a pattern of conduct. A good criminal lawyer would exploit this vagueness and argue that several acts does not necessarily create a pattern. Second, the emotional distress caused by the harassment or cyberstalking needs to be substantial. An experienced attorney would argue that any

emotional distress suffered by the victim was minor and not substantial. Third, conduct that causes emotional distress is not stalking if it serves a legitimate. For instance, if two parents have a fight over the internet over their child, it isn't talking because discussing the child is a legitimate purpose. Also, Constitutionally protected activity is not stalking. For instance, union workers picketing a business is protected by the first amendment and isn't stalking.

It is Aggravate Stalking if a person stalks a victim and makes a credible threat intending to place that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury of themself or their family members. Aggravated Stalking is a third degree felony and punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 5 years. It is also aggravated stalking if the stalking occurs after the victim had already obtained an injunction or restraining order against the defendant.

It is also aggravated stalking if the victim is under the age of 16.

I am an experienced Board Certified Trial Specialist. Less than one percent of attorneys in Florida are Board Certified. Only Board Certified attorneys are permitted to call themselves specialists or experts in Criminal Law. Common sense dictates that you don't hire a family doctor charged with stalking in Clearwater, New Port Richey, or somewhere else in the Tampa Bay area, don't hesitate to call

because your freedom is at stake, don't make the mistake of hiring a criminal lawyer who isn't recognized by the Florida Bar as a specialist in criminal law. Instead, hire a criminal attorney who is Board Certified. If you need a criminal lawyer because you are to perform brain surgery - you hire a specialist. Likewise, an experienced board certified criminal defense attorney. We offer Free Consultations and individually suited Payment Plans.