Personal relationships and interactions can be complicated, especially when they end, and a great deal of discussion in recent years has been devoted to stalking and similar forms of unwanted attention and harassment. The Florida Legislature has responded by designating this type of conduct as a criminal offense, with varying degrees of seriousness, all capable of yielding substantial penalties, relative to the charge.
If you have been accused of making repeated, unwanted contacts to or threats against another, now is the time to contact a West Palm Beach stalking lawyer. The help of an experienced attorney is essential in these cases. En Español.
Generally speaking, Stalking means to engage in multiple instances over time of willful and malicious acts of harassment against another party. As provided by Fla. Stat. §784.048, the crime of stalking can give rise to misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the specific behavior in question. For instance:
In order to fully grasp the meaning of Florida’s stalking statute and what might give rise to criminal charges, it is important to understand some of the defined terms therein.
Given the penalties to which those found guilty of stalking routinely face in Florida courts, it is important that such charges never be taken lightly.
If categorized as a first-degree misdemeanor, a stalking offense can bring upwards of a year in jail along with a $1,000 fine. Aggravated stalking charges can produce even more onerous outcomes, including incarceration of up to five years as well as fines of up to $5,000.
The resulting criminal record and possible issuance of restraining orders can make life extremely difficult long after a formal sentence has been served. West Palm Beach attorneys have seen charges like these effect a person’s employment, professional licenses and even where a person can live when the need Condominium, HOA or leasing office approval.
Those claiming to be the victims of stalking often appear quite sympathetic, causing Clients to doubt their chances of beating the allegations against them. However, there are numerous strategies often available in such circumstances which can cause charges to be reduced or perhaps even dismissed in their entirety.
Ultimately, there is no substitute for the experienced insights and counsel of a Florida defense attorney who is ready and willing to delve into the facts and highlight weaknesses in the Petitioner or Victim’s case.
If you or a loved one has been accused of engaging in criminal stalking, any delay in securing zealous legal representation is not an option or in your best interests. By aligning with a West Palm Beach stalking lawyer, you can begin the process of safeguarding your interests, your freedom and your good name.
Leifert & Leifert Criminal DefenseNA