St. Petersburg Cyberstalking Lawyers
Florida Cyber Stalking Laws
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.
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.
Penalty for Cyberstalking in Florida
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 Cyberstalking Statute
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.–
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
Defending Cyberstalking Offenses in Pinellas County, FL
Contact the Morris Law Firm, P.A. if you have been charged with a criminal offense relating to cyberstalking. Our St. Petersburg cyberstalking 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) 592-5885 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.
Melinda Morris is a former prosecutor and has handled thousands of criminal cases from investigation through sentencing enabling us to identify weaknesses in the State’s case against you.
We never settle for the easiest outcome or the typical result. We know how to negotiate with the State Attorney and we will work to get you the best possible outcome.
Melinda Morris has practiced criminal law for over 20 years. Our clients trust advice that comes from experience in nearly every type of criminal case.
We will know every client’s story because we will take the time to listen and understand. You will work with your attorney one-on-one at every stage of the process.
You will have the cell phone number of your attorney. Your attorney will directly return your call, email, or text to answer your pressing questions.
The government is wasting no time in trying to prove your guilt, a proactive defense is imperative. Prompt and decisive action from your defense attorney is of critical importance.
At Morris Law Firm, P.A., your satisfaction is our priority! See for yourself what our clients have to say about working with us.
Seth Shapiro is the most professional, courteous, caring attorneys I’ve dealt with in all of my 70 years. He did a fabulous job representing me defending me and getting charges dropped. I couldn’t have dreamed of better counsel.- Stephen on AVVO
100% satisfied with Morris law group. Melinda was able to resolve my legal issues with no additional expenses other than my original retainer. I highly recommend this firm for professional and competent representation.- Peter R. on Yelp
If you want the best legal representation, look no further than Morris law firm. Melinda reassured me from the very first time we spoke over the phone. She is very professional and keeps you updated on the progress of your case. I really liked that I didn’t have to reach out to her Everything was smooth, straightforward and she put my mind at ease. You’ll be in good hands with her. Thank you Melinda- Hassan on Google
Mr.Shapiro helped my case by looking at the police body cam diligently which supported my testimony . He presented evidence to the prosecutor .I hired Seth Shapiro to defend me after a domestic battery charge in which I was wrongfully accused and arrested. My case was dismissed thankfully. .Couldn't have asked for a better outcome. This was an extreme difficult time for me. Seth Shapiro was knowledgeable and compassionate in my case. He followed up with my concerns. I would highly recommend this firm.- Melody Z.
Melinda has represented me on numerous cases and the outcome has always been great. Melinda goes above and beyond to defend your rights and get you the best possible outcome. I highly recommend hiring her.- Shasta on Google
Morris Law Firm is a very professional and responsive. They closed my case in a very short terms, for what I'm very grateful. Strongly recommend them especially Seth Shapiro. He decreased my case from felony to misdemeanor in short terms and during 6 months my case was totally closed.- Elina P. on Google