You could be facing a stalking charge, even if you did not intend for your behavior to cause any harm. However, even if you did not intend this, you could be subject to severe consequences under state law. A harassment charge may stem from one of several different situations, including repeatedly appearing at a person’s residence, calling or texting someone via phone, or contacting an individual through a social network.
It is important to understand that stating you did not intend to harm a person might not be an adequate defense against stalking allegations. Therefore, having a seasoned Ft. Lauderdale aggravated stalking Lawyer by your side can secure a favorable case outcome. Call our Legal Team at Leifert & Leifert today to learn more.
What is Stalking?
State law does not recognize stalking and harassment as separate offenses. Instead, the crime is categorized as stalking, and harassment is an activity that could lead to a charge. However, conduct that causes another person emotional distress is harassment. It is important to note that stalking behavior can take several different forms, including but not limited to:
- Phone calls
- Text messages
- Posts on social media
- Comments made in person
Some people are not aware that cyberstalking or other behavior on the internet could also result in a stalking charge. Although these allegations are severe, aggravated stalking may result in more serious consequences.
Penalties for Aggravated Stalking
According to Florida Statutes § 784.048, aggravated stalking, as commonly charged under State Law, is a felony offense of the third degree. Aggravated stalking typically involves willful, malicious, and repeated behavior, including threats that cause another person to fear a serious injury or death.
Individuals may also face charges for willful, malicious, and repeated harassment of a person under the age of 16 or for continued behavior following a protection order from a court.
Penalties for an aggravated stalking conviction may include a five-year prison sentence, a probationary term of five years, or a fine of up to $5,000. A dedicated Lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale can evaluate an aggravated stalking case to help determine the potential punishments you might face for your actions.
Defenses to Aggravated Stalking Allegations
When an individual faces an aggravated stalking charge, they may not automatically be convicted of the offense. A criminal case has several stages and could eventually lead to a Trial in which an accused individual can present a defense to the charges.
One of the most common defenses to an aggravated stalking offense is that the accused engaged in an activity protected under the Constitution’s First Amendment right to protest. Another common defense is that the communication or behavior served a legitimate purpose. Regardless of the circumstances of a case, a knowledgeable Attorney in Ft. Lauderdale can defend you against aggravated stalking charges.
Contact a Ft. Lauderdale Aggravated Stalking Attorney
If you face a stalking charge, you may feel upset and confused that you are labeled as a criminal, even if you did not intend to cause any harm. A Legal Professional at Leifert & Leifert can help you navigate charges and guide you through the process.
An experienced Ft. Lauderdale aggravated stalking Lawyer understands the severity of this charge and can fight for your legal rights. Schedule a case evaluation today to determine your legal options.