Miami Stalking Defense Attorney
Many people do not consider the crime of stalking to be a serious matter. However, Florida law takes stalking very seriously and allows for harsh punishments of those convicted of stalking. If you are accused of any type of stalking, you need a highly skilled Miami stalking defense attorney on your side as soon as possible.
What is Stalking Under Florida Law?
Florida law defines the crime of stalking as “willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly” following, harassing, or cyberstalking someone else. Stalking can include repeatedly appearing at a person’s home, place of employment, or school, or repeated attempts to communicate via phone, mail, email, or other online or text messaging methods.
Stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida, which means anyone convicted could face up to one year in jail and/or a maximum fine of $1,000. You will be prohibited from contacting the victim of the alleged stalking, and there will also be a conviction on your permanent record, which could make you ineligible for certain jobs in the future.
Aggravated Stalking Charges
Under certain circumstances, stalking charges could be escalated to the charge of aggravated stalking, which is a third-degree felony. You may face aggravated stalking charges if any of the following are alleged:
- The victim of the stalking was under the age of 16 years old;
- The stalking occurred in violation of an order of protection issued due to domestic violence, dating violence, repeat violence, or sexual violence;
- The stalking occurred after you had previously been convicted of stalking and ordered not to contact that victim;
- The stalking involved making a “credible threat” against the victim.
In order for a threat to be deemed credible under the law, the following must be true:
- The threat caused the victim to reasonably fear for their own safety, the safety of members of their family, or the safety of anyone else close to them; and
- The accused stalker had the apparent ability to act in accordance with the threat.
Note that the threat does not need to be actually acted upon nor must the stalker actually have the intent to carry out the threat for an aggravated stalking charge to be issued.
If you are convicted of aggravated stalking, you can face a sentence including five years of imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000. Also, having a felony conviction on your record can affect many aspects of your life, including where you are able to work and live.
Discuss Your Case with a Miami Stalking Defense Attorney Today
Stalking and aggravated stalking are both serious offenses and a conviction on your record can have long-lasting consequences for you. Fortunately, there are ways to defend against stalking charges and have your case dropped or the consequences significantly reduced. If you contact the law office of Jeffrey S. Weiner, P.A., you can speak with an experienced Miami stalking defense attorney who can guide you through every step of your case. Call today at 305-670-9919 for a free consultation.