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Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking is a severe immoral offense under Florida State’s law. The occurrence in which the crime is alleged is increasing rapidly as technology is becoming a dependable form of communication. The internet provides a feeling of remaining unidentified which tends to provoke people to participate in illegal, immoral acts.

St. Petersburg Cyberstalking Attorney

Accusations of cyberstalking are increasing drastically as certain technologies become more rampant. Those technologies may comprise of texting, blogs and social media profiles. Most circumstances involving verifying the true character of the author of the messages is challenging. Any individual willing to engross in such conduct may also be willing to frame other perspectives.

Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet and other forms of electronic communication to harass and/or threaten other users on-line. Stalking may take the form of verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or repeated requests for a personal meeting or a private chat/instant message. Virtual stalking can be as terrifying as stalking in the real world, but is often difficult to prove and even harder to control.

Cyberstalking in Florida is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by 12 months in the county jail, and a $1,000.00 fine for each alleged act.

If you have been alleged of a cyberstalking crime the Morris Law Firm can aggressively defend you.

Aggravated Cyberstalking under Florida Law

The State of Florida law articulates that Aggravated Cyberstalking is when a convincing threat is made with the objective of placing the person in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or death for the person or the person's direct family member. Aggravated Cyberstalking offenses are third-degree felonies, punishable by five years in Florida State Prison.

Aggravated cyberstalking under Florida law can also be assumed if the offender is subject to an injunction or restraining order protection against domestic violence, repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence, or after any "no contact" provision is imposed by the court (such as a bond condition), and maliciously, knowingly and willfully cyberstalks the person subject to the court order of protection.

Cyberstalking directed to a person under the age of 16 is also aggravated cyberstalking.

Florida statute 784.048:

"Cyberstalk" 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.

Assault; Battery; Culpable Negligence

§784.048 Stalking; definitions; penalties.--

  1. As used in this section, the term:

(a.) "Harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose.

(b.) "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct." Such constitutionally protected activity includes picketing or other organized protests.

(c.) "Credible threat" means a threat made with the intent to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety. The threat must be against the life of, or a threat to cause bodily injury to, a person.

(d.) "Cyberstalk" 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.

  1. Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
  2. Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person, and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury of the person, or the person's child, sibling, spouse, parent, or dependent, commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  3. Any person who, after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence pursuant to s. 784.046, or an injunction for protection against domestic violence pursuant to s. 741.30, or after any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the subject person or that person's property, knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  4. Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows harasses, or cyberstalks a minor under 16 years of age commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  5. Any law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person he or she has probable cause to believe has violated the provisions of this section.
  6. Any person who, after having been sentenced for a violation of s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5) and prohibited from contacting the victim of the offense under s. 921.244, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks the victim commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  7. The punishment imposed under this section shall run consecutive to any former sentence imposed for a conviction for any offense under s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5).

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Morris Law Firm, P.A. | Defending Cyberstalking Offenses

Contact the Morris Law Firm, P.A. if you have been charged with a criminal offense relating to cyberstalking. Our St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney may be able to help you reduce your possible punishment or receive dismissal for your case. Domestic violence lawyer, Melinda Morris, will aggressively fight for your rights and future opportunities. Call us today at (727) 388-4736 or submit details about your situation in our online form. Let the Morris Law Firm, P.A. help you with your legal issues relating to cyberstalking.

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