In the past, people rarely took stalking allegations seriously. With today’s advances in technology and easier access to others, stalking, harassment, and bullying have become more prevalent than ever.
Sending gifts or cards to someone you admire may seem like innocent acts, but someone else could see them as harassment. The alleged victim could petition the court for a restraining order (protective order) based on stalking allegations even if the police never made an arrest.
John Terrezza is a Florida native who has handled many criminal defense cases in courthouses in Pensacola in Escambia County and Milton in Santa Rosa County. He is also takes cases in federal court in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida.
If you have had a restraining order or an ex parte injunction filed against you for stalking, call Attorney John Terrezza. John Terrezza is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has advocated for clients subject to federal and state charges.
Act quickly to lessen your chances of jail time or fines. John Terrezza’s office is located on West Gregory St. in Downtown Pensacola, just minutes from the Blue Wahoos Stadium.
Call (850) 764-5291 today to speak with John Terrezza directly about any potential charges.
A person is guilty of stalking when he or she maliciously, willfully, and repeatedly follows or harasses another person. Stalking in the context of this statute includes cyber-stalking.
In Florida, stalking is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one (1) year in prison and up to $1,000 fines.
When following or harassing a person becomes more serious in nature, the consequences also become more serious. Aggravated stalking can have felony consequences. Any of the following actions can turn basic stalking into aggravated stalking:
Under the Florida stalking statute, the definitions below are useful to know.
“Credible Threat” is defined as a verbal, nonverbal, (including electronic), or implied communication that places a person in reasonable fear for his or her safety or the safety of their family, friends, and close associates, that is made with the present ability to carry out such a threat.
“Course of Conduct” is defined as a pattern or method of doing things accumulated over time, which shows some illustrated purpose.
“Cyberstalk” is defined as communicating words, images, or language over e-mail or other electronic communication that is directed at a person and causes substantial emotional distress.
“Harass” is defined as engaging in a method of conduct directed at a specific person, which causes substantial emotional distress.
If the State of Florida meets its burden of proving each element of stalking beyond a reasonable doubt, then the punishment stalking may be a misdemeanor or a felony.
Misdemeanor stalking is punishable up to twelve (12) months in jail and up to $1,000 fines.
Aggravated stalking is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison and up to $5,000 fines.
The two types of injunctions under Florida law include:
“Florida Stalking Checklist” Florida Courts.org –Visit Florida Courts for additional information about stalking statutes and temporary injunctions, along with meaningful definitions in the stalking statute. The website of the Florida Judicial Branch was designed to make the Florida court system more convenient, understandable, and accessible to Florida citizens.
WomensLaw.org –for more information on injunctions how to file for restraining orders, and the process of obtaining an injunction visit Women’s Law.org, a national resource on domestic violence.
“Following the Crime of Stalking” –Visit the Florida Bar Journal for an article on stalking and bullying throughout the years, and on the psychology of stalkers.
Florida Statute §784.048 –Visit Online Sunshine, the official website of the Florida Legislature for the full Stalking statute, including definitions and sentences for convictions.
If you have had a restraining order or final injunction filed against you for harassment, stalking, or bullying call Attorney John Terrezza. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, John Terrezza has handled cases throughout the Florida Panhandle in counties including, Pensacola in Escambia County and Milton in Santa Rosa County.
Call now at (850) 764-5291 or submit a free evaluation of your domestic violence case in Pensacola.
This article was last updated on Monday, December 12, 2016.