Stalking


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against
Stalking
allegations.

Being accused of stalking can damage a person's reputation no matter how baseless or uncorroborated the allegations.  Many stalking cases arise out of a dissolved relationship with hard feelings on both sides.  Many times, there are legitimate reasons why the two people have to communicate.  For example, a divorced or divorcing couple may have children and/or assets and liabilities that still bind them together.  Anger, resentment and other powerful emotions can cause people to make untruthful or embellished allegations.  If you have been accused of or arrested for stalking, call us to discuss your particular case.
What is Stalking?

Stalking is defined in Florida Statute Section 784.048.  In order to prove Stalking, the State must prove:
  • You willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly followed, harassed or cyberstalked the victim. 

What is Aggravated Stalking?

Aggravated Stalking is:

  • stalking, and
  • making a credible threat to the victim. 

What constitutes "harassment?"

"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 do they mean by a "course of conduct?"

A "course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, which evidences a continuity of purpose.  The term does not include constitutionally protected activity such as picketing or other organized protests.  
What does "willfully" mean?

"Willfully" means knowingly, intentionally and purposely.

What does "cyberstalk" mean?

"Cyberstalk" means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose. 

What is a "credible threat?"

A "credible threat" is a verbal or nonverbal threat, or a combination of the two, including threats delivered by electronic or implied by a pattern of conduct, which places the person who is the target of the threat in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of his or her family members or individuals closely associated with the person, and which is made with the apparent ability to carry out the threat to cause such harm.  
What if I didn't intend to carry out the threat?

The State doesn't have to prove whether you intended to carry out the threat. The issue is whether it was a credible threat to the victim. 

What if I was in jail when I made the threat?

Even if you are in jail, you could be convicted of aggravated stalking if you made a credible threat through stalking. 

What are the potential sentences for Stalking?

Stalking
Up to 1 year in jail

Aggravated Stalking
Up to 5 years in prison

Stalking (with injunction)
Up to 5 years in prison

Stalking (victim under 16)
Up to 5 years in prison

* The Court must run the Stalking sentence consecutive to any sentence imposed for a sexual battery, lewd or lascivious offense with victim under 16, or computer pornography. 

* The Court may issue an order restraining you from contacting the victim for up to 10 years.

What are the possible defenses to Stalking?

The main defenses to Stalking are that the contact was for a legitimate purpose (i.e. protesting, communication about children or bills), or that the contact was not malicious.  Each case is unique and the relationship between you and the listed victim is important in determining what rises to stalking versus having a contentious relationship.  Give us a call to discuss your possible defenses.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Stalking,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)
 
or

407-228-2019
(Orlando). 

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