Stalking can have serious penalties, especially since those accused of the crime could be facing other charges as well. In Florida, this kind of misconduct could be followed other allegations, such as trespassing, intimidation of a witness, and breaking and entering, which could lead to further punishments. Here are a few arguments criminal defense lawyers use in stalking cases.
Lack of Knowledge
The person charging someone with stalking may not have known the suspect was in the wrong place at the wrong time. It's not that uncommon for two people to be going to the same destination. For highly vigilant individuals, this could be suspicious behavior. However, if the accused was unintentionally following someone to, let's say, a local grocery store, there is no reason for the defendant to be accused of such a crime.
This defense is used when a victim accuses a person of stalking under the mistaken assumption the "stalker" meant to harm. The victim was not acting reasonable when believing he or she was being placed in a dangerous situation that demanded a fear response.
Some lawyers will argue that stalking is a constitutionally protected right, usually in cases where journalists follow celebrities, politicians, or other public figures. Reporters have an obligation to report the truth, which may entail shadowing their subject. The 1st Amendment protects their right to free speech and press.
Denial of Stalking Elements
An attorney may also attempt to fight the charge on the grounds that the defendant's behavior doesn't actually fit Florida's definition of the crime. The prosecution has to prove that each element was committed by the offender. If the defense lawyer finds one of the features missing, the case could be dropped because the full definition of the offense wasn't met.
These are only a few of the possible ways an excellent Florida criminal defense attorney can defend people accused of this crime. The consequence of a conviction can seriously affect your life, even if the offense is considered a misdemeanor. A person convicted of stalking could face up to 1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000, but if he or she has been convicted of stalking before, they can face up to 5 years in state prison. Let us defend your rights. Contact us at (888) 484-5057 or fill out our online form for a free case consultation.