In Florida, accusations of stalking are quite serious. If you or a loved one is facing charges or is currently under investigation for this type of crime, you would be prudent to take quick action to defend yourself and your future interests. In many situations, stalking accusations are the result of simple disputes or misunderstandings, but regardless, you have the right to defend yourself.
Florida law considers stalking to be a pattern of actions that falls under the category of malicious behavior. In many cases, this means following one person, calling him or her excessively, showing up at his or her place of work and more. Every stalking case is different, and you have the right to a defense that suits your needs according to the details of your unique case.
What counts as stalking?
Stalking includes various types of behavior, such as harassing, cyberstalking or following another person willfully. From repeatedly leaving unwanted gifts to sending continuous text messages, these types of behavior form a pattern that could be considered stalking. If there is evidence that these behaviors are intentional and a source of emotional duress to another person, you could face stalking charges.
There are two different kinds of stalking: aggravated stalking and stalking. The differences between these two types of charges are as follows:
- Stalking: Stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor. This can include cyberstalking and harassing, and you could face one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
- Aggravated stalking: You could face these charges if there is evidence of you stalking another person as well as making a threat against that person. This is a third-degree felony, and it is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines as much as $5,000.
Even allegations of stalking could cause many complications in your life, including causing damage to your reputation. You would be wise to take your situation seriously, exploring your defense options as soon as possible.
Defending your future and freedom
Fortunately, it is possible to effectively fight stalking charges. With help, you can fight the charges against you and work to restore your reputation. You may be able to mitigate the penalties that could come with a conviction, taking action to shield your future interests from additional complications.
Your situation is serious, but you do not have to navigate the criminal justice system on your own. One of first steps you can take is to find out more about your rights and the options that could be available to you.