Defenses for Stalking Crimes

Crimes of stalking involve willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly following, harassing, or cyberstalking another person. The behavior can make the victim of the crime feel afraid, nervous, and harassed. These crimes often involve following another person or monitoring their movements.

A person can stalk a complete stranger, but most of these cases involve people who know each other well or were previously in a dating relationship. Stalking-like behaviors might follow a breakup but tend to end quickly. When the stalking behaviors continue after the relationship is clearly over, it becomes more likely that the behavior will rise to the level of a criminal offense.

Cyberstalking involves the use of computers or other electronic technology to facilitate stalking. When it comes to allegations of stalking, false allegations are surprisingly common. People suffering from mental illness or delusions often make false stalking reports.

Attorney for Stalking Crimes in Pasco County, FL

If you were charged with stalking in Pasco County, FL, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. With offices in Tampa and New Port Richey, FL, we represent clients charged with violent crimes throughout Pasco County.

Our attorneys also represent clients on related charges of cyberstalking, aggravated stalking, and sexual cyber harassment. The attorneys at the Sammis Law Firm also represent clients served with an injunction for protection against stalking in Pasco County, FL.

In Florida, stalking and cyberstalking are usually charged as first-degree misdemeanors, punishable by up to twelve (12) months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Aggravated stalking is charged as a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison.

Contact us to discuss your case. Call (813) 250-0500.

Types of Stalking Crimes in Pasco County, FL

Cyberstalking is a stalking charged under § 784.048(1)(d), Florida Statute. Cyberstalking crimes involve communications through words, images, or language by or through electronic mail or electronic communication directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.

When cyberstalking is directed at a family or household member, it can be classified as a form of domestic violence.

Aggravated stalking is defined as any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person, and makes a credible threat to that person a felony of the third degree, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Sexual Cyber Harassment under § 784.049(2)(c) is sometimes called revenge porn. The crime involves publishing a sexually explicit image of a person that contains or conveys the personal identification information of the depicted person to an internet website without the depicted person’s consent, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person. Although sexual cyberharassment is usually charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, a second offense can be charged as a third-degree felony.

The Most Common Examples of Stalking Behaviors

The most common examples of stalking behaviors include:

  • threatened to harm the victim or family members or individuals closely associated with the victim;
  • intentionally injured or killed a family pet;
  • using or threatening to use, against the victim, any weapons such as guns or knives;
  • destroying personal property, including, but not limited to, telephones or other communication equipment, clothing, or other items belonging to the victim.

Stalking and Cyberstalking Injunctions for Protection in Pasco

Section 784.0485, F.S., governs the issuance of injunctions against stalking and cyberstalking. The statute for these injunctions is similar to the provisions and procedures for domestic violence injunctions. The terms stalking and cyberstalking are not defined in s. 784.0485, F.S.

If you are accused of the crime of stalking or if you were served with a petition for an injunction against stalking in Pasco County, FL, find out more about the ways to fight a false accusation.

Additional Resources

Stalking Resources—Visit the website for the stalking resource center, a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime, to learn more about stalking laws throughout the United States and Florida. The center’s mission is to help professionals and organizations effectively respond to stalking and aggravated stalking.

Overview of Stalking—Visit the National Institute of Justice website to find out more about getting help for teens who are victims of stalking and cyberstalking. You can find definitions of stalking and cyberstalking, ways to get help, and how to help someone else.

This article was last updated on Friday, May 10, 2024.