9th Jan 2018
A criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale may be retained by defendants who are facing charges of stalking or aggravated stalking. While these charges contain many of the same elements, aggravated stalking can result in much more significant criminal consequences. A criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale can explain the differences between these two crimes.
Stalking in Florida includes the willful, malicious or repeated following or harassment of another person. Being punished with this crime can result in a conviction for a first degree misdemeanor. A conviction can result in a maximum of one year in jail, $1,000 in fines and one year of probation. A person can be given only probation rather than any jail time. Additionally, the individual may be subject to a restraining order up to ten years.
Aggravated stalking involves the same elements as stalking charges. However, it also involves making a credible threat toward another person, the person is under 16 years or age or the victim had a no contact order against the defendant. A credible threat can be either verbal or nonverbal that places the person in reasonable apprehension for their safety or the safety of others.
This crime is charged as a third degree felony. This crime can result in varying penalties depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense. Aggravated stalking of a person under 16 can result in a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, $5,000 in fines and five years of probation. Aggravated stalking when a no contact order is in place is considered a Level 7 offense, which results in a minimum sentence of 21 months in prison, but the offense can go up to 15 years in prison.