Stalking is a criminal act that occurs when a person purposefully and repeatedly harasses another person, or intends to harass another person. In recent years, it has been discovered that there are many different types of stalking. Types of stalking that are frequently committed and reported to law enforcement include: celebrity stalking, cyber stalking, workplace stalking, workplace harassment, and other forms of harassment.
When a person stalks a victim, the victim is usually aware of the harassing behavior and often has to live in a state of fear that his/her stalker may cause them harm. Once this behavior is reported to law enforcement, the victim will usually file for a restraining order as a way to prevent the stalker from making contact with or following him/her. Sometimes, restraining orders are effective, and the harassment ends. Other times, the stalking behaviors only become worse, which can endanger the emotional, mental, and physical well-being of the victim.
Due to the increase in stalking cases reported over the year, the state of Florida has adopted strict anti-stalking laws. These laws demand that stalkers be arrested and punished for their harassing behaviors, which can include: violence, threats, invasion of privacy, burglary, vandalism, and trespassing.
Once a person has been charged with stalking, it is usually a wise idea for the person to review his/her legal options with a criminal defense attorney. Without assistance from a criminal defense attorney, people stand to face numerous life-altering legal penalties if convicted.
Stalking Charges & Penalties
A criminal defense attorney can help you avoid the penalties that may come with a stalking conviction. In addition to helping you avoid having a restraining order filed against you, an experienced lawyer may be able to help you avoid having formal charges filed at all. A person who has been convicted of stalking in Florida will face a variety of severe legal ramifications. These legal penalties may include, but are not limited to:
- court costs and fines;
- community service;
- mandatory counseling;
- restraining orders/civil injunctions; and
- civil litigation.