Being accused of intentionally following another person in a threatening manner requires contacting a Delray Beach stalking Lawyer immediately. No matter how untrue the accusation is, it can have lasting repercussions that damage your reputation and result in jail time and fines if you are convicted. Taking legal action subsequently demonstrates your dedication to proving that you are an upstanding member of the community.
When you work with a legal professional who has previous experience defending clients in stalking cases, you are doing yourself a critical service. An Attorney at Leifert & Leifert will help you show that your actions were not intentional and within your rights as a citizen. The accuser might have a prior history of making false claims and could be accused of character defamation that has caused you mental anguish and emotional distress.
Common Examples of Stalking & Harassment
Among the most common types of stalking and harassment actions include:
- Showing up at a person’s house without an invitation
- Following a person on their way to work
- Repeated calling, texting, and emailing
- Repeated threats
- Calling, texting, and emailing the person’s friends and family
- Waiting for the person at assorted locations
- Giving unwanted gifts
- Video voyeurism
- Using GPS or other tracking software to monitor a person without their knowledge
Those who accuse others of stalking might cite one or more of these examples that the defendant’s legal professional must refute.
Stalking & Cyberstalking Penalties in Florida
Florida Statutes Title XLVI, Chapter 784, Section 048 defines stalking and harassment, noting that stalking is the willful and malicious following of another person. Aggravated stalking is considered the willful, malicious following of another with the intent to cause bodily harm or fatal injuries. Cyberstalking also falls under these definitions. However, the harassment is through electronic means exclusively, such as email, text, and social media messaging.
Attorneys frequently review the penalties of stalking convictions with their clients, which include first degree Misdemeanors and third-degree felonies. If a defendant is convicted of stalking, they may face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000. If a defendant is convicted of aggravated stalking, they could be imprisoned for up to five years and pay fines up to $5,000. Cyberstalking is a second-degree Misdemeanor that includes a fine up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.
Additional penalties include restraining orders that can remain in effect for up to 10 years in light of the case’s nature.
Potential Defenses Against Stalking Charges
Avoiding a stalking conviction naturally depends on each case’s circumstances. For example, if a defendant is accused of following their neighbor to the local retail store, grocery store, and deli on a weekly basis, an Attorney could argue that the defendant was not intentionally following the accuser, rather they were simply shopping at nearby stores. It is not illegal to patronize the same shops, eateries, and other establishments as a neighbor, therefore the case would be dismissed if no other evidence is available.
Other defenses are on the grounds of constitutionally protected rights. If a person accuses someone of stalking them but the defendant was merely participating in a protest demanding better wages and benefits at their place of employment, it becomes challenging to prove they were intentionally following the accuser.
Schedule a Consultation with an Attorney Today to Discuss Your Case
Do not hesitate to reach out to a Delay Beach stalking Lawyer if you have been accused of intentionally and maliciously following someone. One of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert will discuss your case to determine the best way to approach it and what you can do to help prove your stance as an innocent bystander.
Call our firm today to start the defense process.