Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Stalking Charges Lawyer in Pinellas County FL Defending a Charge http://...
Powers Sellers & Finkelstein PLC
6344 Roosevelt Blvd. Suite B
Clearwater, Florida 33760
Criminal Defense Attorneys in Pinellas County Florida
Clearwater FL | Largo FL | St. Petersburg FL | Palm Harbor FL
Stalking Charges Defense Lawyers Pinellas County FL
The Definition of Stalking and the Penalties for Conviction in Florida
Along with domestic violence, stalking is a crime that was not prosecuted aggressively until recently in Florida and around the country.
Victims were often thought to be exaggerating the circumstances, or labeled “attention seekers”.
Lawmakers across the country, including in the State of Florida, now see stalking as a serious, potentially deadly, crime.
If you have been accused of stalking in Florida it is essential to understand the Florida stalking laws and potential penalties for a stalking conviction.
Under Florida Statute 784.048(2) the criminal offense of stalking is defined as follows:
“A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking.”
To fully understand the definition of stalking you need to know how some other important terms are defined, such as “harass” and “cyberstalk”.
· Harass – means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.
· 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.
Stalking is charged as a first degree misdemeanor absent aggravating factors and is punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Aggravated Stalking is charged as a third-degree felony, and is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine if any of the following aggravating circumstances are present:
· The accused made a credible threat during the alleged stalking behavior.
· The accused also violated an injunction or other court order requiring the accused to stay away from the alleged victim.
· The alleged victim is under 16 years of age.
If you have been accused of stalking, you must take the accusations seriously. Not only do you face a potential term of incarceration if convicted, but a conviction for stalking could also adversely affect your rights to custody or visitation with minor children.
If you believe that you are the victim of stalking you have the legal right to request an injunction which, if granted, will order the alleged stalker to refrain from contacting you or harassing you.
In either case, it is in your best interest to consult a Florida Criminal Defense Attorney for immediate representation. Call Powers Sellers and Finkelstein at 727-531-2926 or visit us at http://www.KeepCalmCallUs.com.