Stalking Charges in Orlando
If you have been accused of stalking, you must take action to protect yourself. Stalking can result in criminal charges as well as the filing of a restraining order against you. The restraining order can prevent you from having contact with the alleged victim, which, if the victim is a family member, means you may not be allowed to see your family while the order is in effect.
The Orlando law firm of Moses and Rooth Attorneys at Law represents clients who are accused of stalking and aggravated stalking in Florida. Our lawyers provide skilled defense against criminal charges. The victim in a stalking-related case will often supplement the criminal charges with a civil injunction. An injunction is intended to provide the victim with another layer of protection. However, these injunctions are often abused. Our attorneys will challenge the injunction at a formal hearing and argue that the evidence does not support the requirements of the statute for a final injunction.
Stalking in Florida is defined as the act of repeatedly following, harassing or contacting another person. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, carrying possible penalties of up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $1,000.
Stalking can rise to the level of a felony in certain circumstances. The felony is called aggravated stalking, which is a third-degree felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. Aggravated stalking can be charged in the following kinds of situations:
- Credible threat: When the alleged stalker makes a credible threat against the victim, the charge becomes aggravated stalking. Threatening the victim or the victim’s family with death or injury qualifies as a credible threat.
- After an injunction: If the alleged stalker is the subject of an injunction for protection for sexual violence, domestic violence or repeat violence, the charge becomes aggravated stalking.
- Victim under 16 years old
A Note on Cyberstalking
Cyberstalking means using email, texting or other electronic means to send messages or pictures that cause substantial emotional distress. This very broad definition makes it easy for someone to accuse another of cyberstalking. Even a small number of texts or one too many emails could lead to this accusation. In today’s electronically dominated world, many innocent people find themselves accused of cyberstalking. Our attorneys are here to help you if you have been charged with this behavior.