Florida Stalking Defense Attorney Protects Your Reputation
Accomplished trial lawyer serves Orlando and vicinity
Stalking generally means conduct that puts another person in fear of their own safety or that of someone close to them. It is a crime that can draw serious penalties in Florida, including stiff fines and jail time. If you have been charged with or are being investigated for a stalking offense, it’s time to contact The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. With decades of criminal defense experience and a strong reputation for professionalism and ethics, Mr. Yates can often resolve matters before criminal charges are filed. If you have already been charged, Mr. Yates can provide a robust defense to protect your good name and your liberty.
Elements of stalking offenses in Florida
Under Florida law, stalking occurs when a person willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses or cyberstalks another person. This means your actions must be intentional and done with ill will towards the alleged victim. Authorities must prove this mental state in order to convict you of stalking.
As used in the stalking statute, harassment means “a course of conduct directed at a specific person which causes substantial emotional distress to that person and serves no legitimate purpose.” In this definition, it’s the victim’s state of mind that matters. Thus, it is possible to harass a person unwittingly.
Types of stalking offenses in Florida
Stalking is a first-degree misdemeanor carrying a potential jail term up to one year, followed by one year of probation and a $1,000 fine.
Certain circumstances can lead to charges of aggravated stalking, including any of the following:
- Credible threat — In addition to the elements mentioned above, the defendant must have made a credible threat by which he or she intended to cause the victim to reasonably fear physical injury or death. For the threat to be credible, it must be apparent that the defendant could have carried out the act threatened.
- Child stalking — This offense occurs when a stalking victim is age 15 or younger.
- Injunction violation — This offense occurs when the stalking victim previously obtained an injunction (i.e., restraining order) against the defendant. In such cases, the defendant must be aware that the restraining order was issued.
- Victim of a previous crime — This offense occurs when a person was convicted of a sexual crime and as part of the sentence was prohibited from contacting the victim.
Aggravated stalking is a third-degree felony carrying a prison term of up to five years and a fine of $5,000. When faced with such severe consequences, you need highly reliable criminal defense counsel. Mr. Yates has decades of experience in criminal cases. He aggressively challenges the prosecution on every element of your case as he works to obtain the best possible outcome.
Contact a skilled criminal defense attorney in Orlando for defense to stalking crimes
The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. provides aggressive criminal defense representation for clients accused of stalking crimes in the Orlando area. For reliable counsel, call the firm at 407-608-7777 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.