Tampa Stalking Defense Attorneys
Stalking & Harassment in Tampa, Florida
Stalking is a criminal act 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. Stalking that is frequently reported to law enforcement includes:
- Celebrity stalking
- Workplace stalking
- Stalking an ex-spouse or ex-partner
When a person stalks a victim, the victim is usually aware and has to live in a state of fear that their stalker may cause harm. Once this behavior is reported to law enforcement, the victim usually files for a restraining order to prevent the stalker from making contact with or following them. Sometimes, restraining orders are effective, and the harassment ends. Other times, the stalking behaviors worsen, which can endanger the victim's emotional, mental, and physical well-being.
Stalking Charges & Penalties
Due to the increase in stalking cases reported over the year, Florida has adopted strict anti-stalking laws. These laws demand that stalkers be arrested and punished for their harassing behaviors, including violence, threats, invasion of privacy, burglary, vandalism, and trespassing.
Stalking charges and penalties in Florida are as follows:
- Repeatedly harassing, following, or stalking is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 1 year in jail, 1 year of probation, and a $1,000 fine.
- Stalking and making a credible threat against another person, stalking in violation of a protective order or restraining order, and stalking a child under the age of 16 are third degree felonies punishable by up to 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
Stalking is defined and its penalties are outlined in Florida Statutes 784.048. Specific penalties will depend not only on whether stalking is charged as a misdemeanor or a felony but also whether there are any mitigating or aggravating factors that would allow for a reduced or enhanced sentence.
Talk to a Tampa Stalking Defense Lawyer
Stalking accusations can result in criminal charges and a restraining order against the alleged offender. These are issues that must be taken seriously from the start, and that is why you must contact an attorney as soon as possible if you've been accused of stalking, harassment, or cyberstalking. Your job, your freedom, your reputation, and your personal relationships may all be in jeopardy, and the only person that can help will be a qualified criminal defense lawyer.
At Thomas & Paulk, we have fought for clients throughout Florida for 20 years. Our Tampa stalking defense attorneys know how to counter these allegations, deal with restraining orders, and build strong defenses that protect our clients' constitutional rights to the fullest.
Find out how we can help you by calling (813) 321-7323.
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