Stalking is a serious offense in Florida and can carry substantial penalties. Not many people are aware of what actually constitutes "stalking" in Florida, however. This may not only lead people to inadvertently commit the crime, but also makes him or her highly unprepared for the consequences.
Under Florida Statute 784.048, any person who "willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly" follows, cyberstalks, or harasses another person is guilty of the crime of stalking. This crime carries the penalties of a misdemeanor of the first degree, which include a maximum one year imprisonment and/or a $1,000 fine. This is the only stalking charge that is charged as a misdemeanor.
The following other related stalking charges, all considered aggravated stalking, are all felonies in the third degree, which are punishable by a maximum prison sentence of five years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000:
- Stalking, as described above, as well as making a credible threat with the purpose of instilling in the victim a reasonable fear of bodily injury or death of themselves or an immediate family member;
- Continuing to stalk a person who is protected under an injunction or other court-ordered prohibition of conduct; and
- Stalking a minor under the age of 16.
If you have been charged with stalking or aggravated stalking in Florida, you face significant penalties which can have adverse effects on your personal and professional life. If you have already been convicted of a felony, the penalties will be more severe. To learn more about how you can effectively avoid stalking charges, contact the aggressive stalking defense attorneys in Florida at Musca Law today at (888) 484-5057.