Criminal Defense Law Firm For An Arrest For Stalking in Fort Walton Beach, Destin Or Anywhere In Okaloosa County
Florida Law defines stalking (Fla. Stat. §784.048(2)) as engaging in a course of conduct, such as willfully, maliciously and repeatedly following, harassing or cyberstalking a specific person, with no legitimate purpose, causing substantial emotional distress.
How Okaloosa County Will Pursue A Stalking Conviction
To prove the charge of stalking (which falls under the violent crimes category in Florida), basically, the state has only one element that must be proven, and that is, the Defendant willfully, maliciously and repeatedly followed, harassed or cyberstalked the victim.
Penalties for Stalking (Misdemeanor Level)
Stalking is a first degree misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to one year imprisonment and $1,000.00 in penalties.
Criminal Defense Strategies and Defenses To A Charge of Stalking
Most often when I meet with clients regarding a Stalking allegation, they are simply disputing the charge in the wholesale sense, for example, “It did not happen.” or “This accusation is a lie.”
In cases like this, we look closely at the State’s case to determine how to appropriately respond to the allegation.
Identity — Can the State prove beyond a reasonable doubt the Defendant’s identity?
Location — Where did the incident occur? Does the client have an alibi?
Intent — Did the client act willfully and maliciously and repeatedly?
There are several other defenses to a stalking charge. One defense is the alleged conduct was during the course of a First Amendment activity such as picketing or organized protesting, the conduct of the Defendant would be constitutionally protected. Another defense is, the alleged conduct served to further legitimate purpose.
It is important to find a criminal defense attorney who knows how to handle these specific types of charges because they are relatively rare. Of course, I have handled many stalking cases over the years and the one thing I can tell you from experience is that because of the nature of the allegation and the public connotation of the word “stalking” or “stalker,” these cases are not easily resolved.
They require a lot of work and a close examination of available defenses. But if you have been charged with stalking in Destin, Fort Walton Beach or elsewhere in Okaloosa County, I am available to advise you on course of action for your case.
The initial consultation is free.