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Cyberstalking

With today’s advances in technology and access to others, cyberstalking has become a serious crime that could have federal or state repercussions. The definition of cyberstalking is complex and includes acts that range in intensity. It can include verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or repeated advances, to constantly checking a person's social media accounts.

It is important to be careful about contacting someone who does not want to associate with you. Conduct that might seem innocent to one person may lead to another person living in fear.


Attorney for Cyberstalking Charges in Pensacola, Florida

Criminal defense attorney John Terrezza is a dedicated Florida native who handles stalking and cyber-stalking cases throughout the Florida Panhandle. He takes cases in Escambia County in Pensacola and Santa Rosa County in Milton. John Terrezza also handles federal cases and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida

Call (850) 764-5291 to make an appointment or submit a free evaluation to learn more about how John Terrezza can fight for your rights.

His offices are conveniently located in on Gregory St. in Downtown Pensacola. If you were charged with stalking, cyberstalking or aggravated stalking, then contact John Terrezza to discuss your case. During the initial consultation, you can learn more about the criminal charges, the potential punishments, and the best ways to fight the case. 


Understanding Cyberstalking under Florida Statute §784.048

"Cyberstalking" is a type of stalking that is defined as causing substantial emotional distress to a person by engaging in a course of conduct to communicate, or cause to be communicated, images, words, or language through the use of e-mail, or electronic communication, directed at the victim and which serves no legitimate purpose. 

Cyberstalking can include sending text messages, sending an electronic communication, or any of the following facts:


Penalties For Cyberstalking in Florida

The punishments for cyberstalking may range from a misdemeanor to felony depending on whether the accuser has already been ordered to stay away from the victim or if the accuser cyberstalks a minor.

Section §784.048 states that a person who repeatedly, willfully, and maliciously follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another is guilty of stalking.

A cyberstalking conviction is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and up to $1,000 fines for each alleged act of cyberstalking.


Aggravated Cyberstalking:

Aggravated cyberstalking is charged for subsequent offenses such as any stalking, dating violence, domestic violence, or court-imposed prohibition violations. A person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly cyber-stalks a child under the age of 16 is also guilty of aggravated cyber-stalking.

A conviction for aggravated stalking is charged as a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. 


Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is defined as acts by a child or teen that torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass, or otherwise target another child or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or cell phones.

Florida has enacted the “Jefferson Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act,” codified under Florida Statute §1006.147. The Jefferson Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act lays out the procedure for all schools in the State of Florida regarding how to handle in-school bullying, including cyberbullying.

Federal Chargers for Cyberstalking

Federal statute 18 U.S.C. §2261A is the federal counterpart for stalking crimes. The Statute says that a person is guilty when he or she acts with the intent to injure, harass, or kill and when he or she uses any interactive computer service, the U.S. mail system, or any facility of interstate or foreign commerce to cause substantial emotional distress to another or place another person in reasonable fear of death, or the death of his or her immediate family or intimate partner.


Additional Resources:

Cyberstalking Information in Florida – Visit the website for Secure Florida to learn more about legal concerns regarding cyberstalking, what to do if you are a victim, tips for dealing with stalking incidents, and information on Florida law. 

Preventing Cyberbullying in the Schools in Escambia County - Visit the Escambia County Sheriff's office for more information about partnerships with schools to prevent cyberbullying. The school resource officers are instrumental in working with schools to create a safer environment. Officers educate faculty, students, and parents through numerous presentations outside of school hours including a “Transition Presentation” for elementary students as they transition to high school, and most recently, an “Informed Parent Workshop,” to share pertinent information on cyberbullying in the schools.

Florida Statute Section 784.048 – Visit the official website of the Florida Legislature to find the full statutory language contained §784.048 which prohibit cyberstalking. Also find the potential penalties if the crime is charged as a felony or a misdemeanor and legal definitions for phrases contained in the statute. Find the definition of "cyberstalking" which 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.


Find an Attorney for Cyberstalking Crimes in Escambia County, Florida

John Terrezza has devoted his entire career to criminal defense. Terrezza defends clients against criminal charges in cyberstalking and domestic violence cases in Pensacola in Escambia County and Santa Rosa County in Milton, FL.

If you have had the misfortune of being subject to federal or state charges for cyberstalking, call a lawyer who will fight against this serious offense. John Terrezza is an aggressive advocate for the rights of criminal defendants and will fight for your rights.

Call (850) 764-5291 to schedule an appointment or submit a free evaluation of your case.


This page was last updated on Thursday, December 22, 2016.