Everyone in the Delray Beach area deserves the ability to live their lives in peace. This includes the freedom from unwanted contact with others. Continuous unwanted contact with another can rise to the level of criminal activity. When this activity has no legitimate purpose and causes substantial emotional distress to another, it becomes stalking under Florida law.
Stalking is the Florida law uses to describe aggravated harassment. Depending on the exact circumstances of the case, these events can be either Misdemeanors or Felonies. A Delray Beach aggravated harassment Lawyer wants to help you fight back against these charges. A skilled defense Attorney is ready to dispute the key legal ideas in Court while disputing the need for restrictive retraining orders.
Stalking and Aggravated Harassment are the Same
When most people think about aggravated harassment, they imagine behavior that fits within the definition of stalking. In fact, state law does not include a statute that carries the label of aggravated harassment.
According to Florida Statute § 784.048, the term stalking covers the common definition of aggravated harassment. Under the statute, it is against the law for any person to have contact with another in a way that causes significant emotional distress. For example, it is a violation to continue sending unwelcome text messages that make another person uncomfortable, unless there is a legitimate purpose for these texts to be sent.
At the same time, it is crucial to recognize that not all unwelcome contact is against the law. Another critical portion of the stalking statute says the contact must have no legitimate purpose. For instance, repeatedly contacting another to pay back a loan does not commit harassment.
A Delray Beach criminal defense Attorney is ready to provide further information about the aggravated harassment and stalking laws. Our team will work to obtain information that gives legitimacy to contact between two people or indicates a supposed victim consented to the contact.
How Does the Law Punish Examples of Aggravated Harassment?
Most examples of stalking and harassment are Misdemeanors. For example, a person who commits a first staking offense is guilty of a Misdemeanor of the first degree. Courts can issue penalties of jail sentences of up to one year and fines of up to $1,000.
However, there are examples of situations where stalking can become a Felony. All felony cases can bring prison sentences of over one year and often come with mandatory minimum jail terms. A person may commit Felony stalking when the alleged victim is already the subject of a protective order or if the supposed victim is under the age of 16. Threats of physical harm can also result in Felony charges being filed against the sender of such threats.
Finally, stalking arrests may also convince a Court to impose a no-contact order before the case goes to Trial. Especially when the alleged victim is a family member and the event is a supposed example of domestic violence, these orders can profoundly impact a Defendant’s life. Allowing a lawyer in Delray Beach to handle the aggravated harassment case helps limit the potential penalties that may already be affecting a person’s life and will continue to do so unless the charges are resolved correctly and in your favor.
Contact a Delray Beach Aggravated Harassment Attorney Now
Accusations involving staking or aggravated harassment in Delray Beach are serious matters. Even a mere arrest for these charges could result in a Court creating a restraining order that severely limits your movements and activities. Convictions come with even harsher penalties that can impose jail sentences, the payment of fines, and submission to psychological evaluations and a permanent criminal record.
A Delray Beach aggravated harassment lawyer wants to help you to avoid these penalties. They can work to show your contact with another person was a consensual meetup or did not intend to cause any alarm or fear. Either of these plans can help create reasonable doubt about stalking allegations. Contact Leifert & Leifert today to learn more about how we can help you.