According to State law, the act of stalking can take different forms. It can involve behavior that includes following, threatening, or harassing another person. These charges can result from repeated behavior, even in cases where the accused has no ill intention or will toward the other party.
If you face stalking allegations, it is essential to seek a dedicated defense Attorney right away. These charges are serious, and a conviction could impact your life for years to come. Let a Wellington stalking Lawyer help you protect your legal rights during this difficult time.
Understanding Stalking Charges
Florida Statute Section 784.048 outlines the specifics of stalking charges. Stalking involves repeated acts of contacting, harassing, or following another person without their consent. This offense also requires a person to commit willful and malicious behavior allegedly. In other words, a person must intend to cause the behavior that impacts the reporting witness.
There are two critical elements of a stalking charge to keep in mind. First, an act of alleged stalking must have no other reasonable purpose. For example, following someone to the mall to harass them could qualify as stalking. Traveling to the mall to purchase something and crossing paths with that individual might not. An act of stalking must also occur solely to cause emotional distress to the intended target. A knowledgeable Lawyer in Wellington could further explain the legal definition of stalking.
Other Types of Stalking Charges
There are other offenses under the law to be aware of outside of a standard stalking charge. The law recognizes aggravated stalking, which is a type of offense that carries steeper penalties. There is also an offense known as cyberstalking. A Wellington Attorney could defend against both types of stalking allegations.
Aggravated stalking is the most serious form of stalking charge. The law uses this offense in cases where an individual intentionally and maliciously makes a threat against the reporting witness. This threat must be credible to rise to the level of aggravated stalking.
Cyberstalking is like any other stalking allegation, except it occurs online. The act of repeatedly harassing another person over the internet is just as serious of an offense as any other stalking charge.
Penalties for a Stalking Conviction
The penalties for stalking vary. Both stalking and cyberstalking are Misdemeanors. When a person is convicted, they face maximum confinement of one year in Jail. The offense also carries up to $1,000 in monetary fines. This is the case for first-time offenders, but subsequent convictions can have steeper penalties. A stalking Lawyer in Wellington could help with avoiding these consequences.
The penalties associated with an aggravated stalking conviction are even higher. The law always treats this charge as a Felony offense. If found guilty, the accused could spend as much as ten years in Prison while also facing a maximum fine of $5,000. Multiple convictions for aggravated stalking could lead to a habitual offender status, resulting in more time behind bars.
Contact a Wellington Stalking Attorney Immediately
Stalking is a serious criminal offense that could impact your quality of life and freedom. The good news is that these consequences only become a reality if you are found guilty. With the right Legal Team, you could defeat the stalking charges against you. Reach out to a Wellington stalking Lawyer right away to discuss your options.