Miami Stalking Lawyer
Stalking is a serious offense. It is the act of making another individual uncomfortable, even fearful for his or her safety, through repeated unwanted contact. In Florida, it is a criminal offense that can have steep penalties for individuals who are convicted of the act of stalking. If you have been charged with stalking, work with a member of our team of experienced Miami stalking lawyers.
What is Stalking?
Stalking is defined as the act of willingly, maliciously, and repeatedly following or harassing a victim. Stalking can occur over the internet or face to face. In Florida, it is a first degree misdemeanor.
When stalking involves a credible threat that causes the victim to feel like his or her safety is in danger, it becomes aggravated stalking. Aggravated stalking is a third degree felony.
Stalking can take many forms. As mentioned above, cyberstalking is the act of repeatedly harassing an individual over the internet, such as on social media or through email. Other forms of stalking include:
- Sending a victim unwanted letters or packages;
- Placing a GPS in a victim’s vehicle or phone to track his or her movements;
- Gathering information about the victim through internet searches, questioning of his or her contacts, and efforts such as public searches and searches of the victim’s trash;
- Repeatedly showing up at the victim’s home, workplace, school, or another public place that the victim frequents;
- Driving past the victim’s home, school, or workplace repeatedly; and
- Photographing or video recording the victim without his or her consent.
If you are Charged with Stalking in Florida
Whether you are charged with stalking or with aggravated stalking makes a significant difference in the penalties you face. For a first degree misdemeanor, the penalties a convicted defendant can face include:
- Up to one year in jail; and
- A fine of up to $1,000.
For aggravated stalking, a third degree felony, the penalties are as follows:
- Up to five years in prison; and
- A fine of up to $5,000.
You can defend yourself against a stalking charge to have it downgraded or dismissed.
Generally, this involves a lack of evidence to show that you were the party stalking the victim or that the victim was being stalked at all. Your defense strategy may also involve proving that although you came into contact with the plaintiff on multiple occasions, it was not intentional or done with malice. You might demonstrate that you and the plaintiff simply follow a similar route or engage in similar activities.
Contact Our Experienced Miami Stalking Lawyers
If you have been charged with stalking, you are facing steep penalties. Fight the charge with the aid of an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer to protect yourself and your future liberty from these penalties. To learn more and start building a solid legal defense strategy, contact our team of experienced Miami stalking lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today to set up your initial consultation with our firm.