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Violent Crimes: Stalking Offenses

Stalking offenses exist in the State of Florida and are taken very seriously by the courts, as well as the prosecutor's offices. In most cases, stalking charges coincide with allegations of domestic violence. Individuals can be arrested on stalking charges if they engage in a course of conduct intended to cause emotional distress to the victim. The Miami criminal lawyers as DMT have represented clients charged with stalking and aggravated stalking both in county and circuit courts. While the majority of stalking cases arise from domestic relationships, it is not a pre-requisite for an arrest or filing of criminal charges. Stalking in domestic violence cases can also result in the victim obtaining an injunction for protection against domestic violence. If you or someone you know is being investigated or has been arrested for stalking or aggravated stalking, contact the Miami criminal defense law firm at DMT to evaluate the case.

Stalking is a first degree misdemeanor punishable up to a year in jail. To prove the crime of stalking, the prosecution must prove that a defendant willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly harassed, followed or cyberstalked a particular victim. Harassment is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at an individual that causes substantial emotional distress to a victim and such conduct does not serve any legitimate purpose. The term cyberstalk means to engage in a course of conduct by communicating specific words, images or language through technological advancements such as e-mail and the internet directed at a victim to cause substantial emotional distress and does not serve a legitimate purpose.

Under the laws of the State of Florida there a three different types of aggravated stalking offenses. The first type of aggravated stalking offense requires that the defendant willfully maliciously, and repeatedly follow, harass or cyberstalk a particular victim and the defendant made a credible threat with the specific intent to place the victim in reasonable fear of bodily injury or death. A credible threat is defined as a threat made with the intent to cause the person who is the target of threat to have a reasonable fear for his or her safety. Another type of aggravated stalking offense is when a defendant willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed, harassed or cyberstalked a particular victim. The offense requires that a court prior to the stalking, had ordered an injunction for protection against repeat violence to be entered against the defendant on the victim's behalf. An essential element to the offense requires the state to prove that the defendant knew that the injunction for protection against violence had been instituted by the court. The third type of aggravated stalking offense involves the willful and malicious harassment or cyberstalking of a victim under the age of 16. Aggravated stalking charges are all third degree felonies punishable up to five years in prison. However, under the Florida Sentencing Guidelines Offense Severity Chart, the crime of aggravated stalking merits a state prison sentence.

If you are under investigation for, or have been arrested and charged with stalking or aggravated stalking, contact the Miami criminal lawyers at DMT. An experienced criminal attorney is available every day of the year, 24 hours a day to speak with you regarding your situation. Allow us the opportunity to help protect your rights and defend you case and you will not be disappointed. You can call our office at (305) 340-2197 or reach us by completing the form on our contact page or by sending an e-mail.