24th Jan 2017

If you have been arrested for the crime of stalking, it is important to contact a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale.  Such charges can be very serious in nature and can result in possible jail time and other long-lasting consequences.  A criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale may explore the following areas:

False Accusations

In some cases involving stalking charges, the charges are completely fabricated.  The alleged victim may have exaggerated the claims to try to get ahead in a divorce or custody case.  He or she may have simply made up the charges to get back at the defendant for a bad breakup or other conceived misdeed.

Link to Domestic Violence

Stalking charges are most often associated with domestic violence.  Such domestic crimes involve people who are related by blood or marriage, have a child in common, shared a household with the other or were involved in a romantic relationship at one time.  However, it is not necessary under Florida law that there be such a link in order for the case to be prosecuted.  Neighbors, coworkers or even strangers can be accused of stalking.

Charges

Stalking may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony.  For a misdemeanor, the elements that the prosecutor is tasked with proving include the defendant harassed the victim for no legitimate reason and to cause substantial emotional distress to the victim or that the defendant cyber-stalked the victim.  For the felony version of the offense, the prosecutor must show that the defendant made a credible threat to the life or safety of the victim and the threat was made in order to cause the victim to be afraid of bodily injury or death to the victim or the victim’s child, spouse, parent or sibling.  Being convicted of the felony version can result in five years’ imprisonment.

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