What is stalking in Florida?

The crime of Stalking is a First Degree Misdemeanor in Florida. Which is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000.

Gavel and handcuffs with title Stalking

This offense occurs when a person:

  1. Willfully,
  2. Maliciously, and
  3. Repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person. 

To “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. §784.048(1)(a).

To “Cyberstalk” means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or languages by or thought the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, or to access or attempt to access the online accounts or Interest-connected home electronics systems of another person without that person’s permission, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose. §784.048(1)(d).

Defenses to Stalking

  • Engaged in First Amendment activities.
  • Contact was for a legitimate purpose.
  • False and exaggerated allegations.

References:

Alter v. Paquetta: On legitimate purpose.

Pickett v. Copeland: On repeatedly follows.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Glenn M. Swiatek for a Free Initial Consultation in Destin, Shalimar, Crestview, Ft. Walton Beach and other areas of Northwest Florida

If you have been arrested or believe you will soon be arrested for the offense of stalking in Destin, Shalimar, Crestview, Ft. Walton Beach or other areas of Northwest Florida please call us today at (850) 609‑0940 or contact us online.

Initial Office Consults are free, and I will make myself available to suit your schedule. Get the peace of mind that an attorney with over twenty-three years of criminal law experience can bring.


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