To prove the crime of Aggravated Stalking, the prosecutor must prove:
- 1. The accused willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed or harassed or cyberstalked the victim.
- 2. a. The accused made a credible threat to the alleged victim.
- b. There was an injunction or no contact court order and the accused knew it.
- c. At the time of the accused’s actions the victim was under 16 years of age.
What does the term “harass” mean?
“Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.
What are the maximum penalties in a Stalking case?
In Florida, Aggravated Stalking is a third-degree felony punishable by a maximum of:
- Five years of imprisonment
- A $5,000.00 fine
- 5 years of probation
Possible Defenses to a Stalking Charge
- The Witnesses are Lying
Alleged victims and witnesses in an Aggravated Stalking case sometimes make false accusations because they have a motive to lie. For example, child custody issues, cheating in a relationship, and other conflicts can motivate a person to make things up or exaggerate. A Defense Attorney can expose these motivations and attack false allegations.
- Insufficient Course of Conduct
In an Aggravated Stalking case, Florida Law requires the prosecutor to prove that the accused engaged in a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose. Therefore, if a stalking charge is based on one single event, the case should be dismissed.
- There Was a Legitimate Purpose for the Contact
In an Aggravated Stalking case, Florida Law requires the prosecutor to prove that the accused had no legitimate purpose for his conduct. However, let’s suppose that the accused was contacting the alleged victim regarding some legitimate matter – such as repayment of a debt or a child custody issue. In cases such as these, there is a defense that the accused’s conduct was for a legitimate purpose.
Are you looking for the best criminal defense lawyer in Tampa Florida regarding an Aggravated Stalking charge? Contact Attorney David C. Hardy.
Tampa Attorney David C. Hardy is a former prosecutor that now represents persons accused of Aggravated Stalking. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law. As a prosecutor and defense attorney, he has extensive experience handling Aggravated Stalking cases.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for Aggravated Stalking in Hillsborough County Florida, Pinellas County Florida, or Pasco County Florida, Attorney David C. Hardy has the knowledge, skills, and experience to guide you through this process and obtain the best possible results.