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Your Guide To Understanding Florida Stalking Laws

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A girl being stalked by a suspicious man

In the United States, there are 7.5 million incidents of stalking every year. Women are more likely to be stalked than men, but this is an issue that can affect people of any gender, race, age, and socioeconomic class. Although most people think they know exactly what stalking is, the truth is that there are several different actions and behaviors that can be considered stalking.

Whether you believe you’re being stalked or have recently been accused of stalking, it’s important to know what stalking is and what can be done about it. Here is your guide to understanding Florida stalking laws.

What Is The Legal Definition of Stalking in Florida?

There is much more to stalking than having an unwanted person lurking in the shadows. Florida Code Section 784.048 breaks stalking into two categories: stalking and aggravated stalking.

Stalking is defined as ‘willful, malicious, and repeated following or harassing.’

Aggravated stalking is defined as ‘Willful, malicious and repeated following or harassing another with credible threats with the intent to place person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury; or willfully, maliciously, repeatedly follows or harasses minor under 16; or after injunction for protection or any court-imposed prohibition of conduct, knowingly, willfully, maliciously and repeatedly follows or harasses another person.’

General stalking is considered a first-degree misdemeanor while aggravated stalking is a third-degree felony.

Stalking was once a difficult crime to prosecute, but the legal system has begun to take it very seriously over the last several years.

What Are The Penalties For Stalking?

Stalking is a punishable crime in the state of Florida. Those found guilty of stalking can face up to one year of probation, up to one year of stalking, a fine of up to $1,000, and a restraining order that can last up to ten years.

Aggravated stalking is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

What to Do if You Believe You’re Being Stalked in The Tampa Bay Area

If you believe you’re being stalked and are in immediate danger, the first thing you should do is contact the Tampa Bay area law enforcement. If you feel your digital security has been compromised as a result of being stalked, you should also change any necessary passwords and let your friends, family, and financial institution know that your accounts have been compromised.

What to Do If You’ve Been Accused of Stalking in The Tampa Bay Area

A stalking accusation should be taken very seriously. If you’ve been charged, it’s time to seek legal counsel. Be ready and willing to share all necessary information with your attorney so they can prepare the best defense for your case.

On the other hand, it’s also important to know what not to do if you’re facing a stalking accusation. Remember to avoid doing any of the following things:

  • Do not communicate with the alleged victim for any reason.
  • Avoid speaking to law enforcement without your attorney present.

Contact Fernandez and Hernandez Today

If you have been accused of stalking in the Tampa Bay area, Fernandez & Hernandez will provide a free consultation and discuss your situation. If you have been charged with stalking, the criminal defense attorneys at Fernandez & Hernandez will be able to help you. If you need legal assistance call Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney Daniel J. Fernandez of Fernandez & Hernandez at 813-229-5353.

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez

Daniel J. Fernandez defends individuals charged with a misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses throughout the Tampa Bay area and the State of Florida. With more than 30 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and hundreds of jury trials, Daniel earned tremendous accolades from judges, other lawyers, defendants, and even jurors. Daniel started his legal career as a state prosecutor and became the chief of the Narcotics division before opening his own law practice in 1985.

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M D
15:43 12 Feb 20
Daniel Fernandez is by far THE BEST ATTORNEY I've ever hired. He's straight to the point, he worked magic in the... courtroom on 7 year sentence. He made what I thought was the impossible happen!! Daniel was very consistent on contacting me about any new important updates. I've hired attorneys in the past and from now on I will recommend him to everyone and only hire him from here on out if any situation occurs. He GETS THE JOB DONE!!!! Austin (his paralegal) was just as diligent and I'm grateful to have hired them and had them work on our case.read more
Gennetza Hernandez
Gennetza Hernandez
16:44 30 Jan 20
I was very concerned about my case coming from being a victim from a abuser. After meeting with me Fernandez I felt... very comfortable all my question were answered and assure me that there a was solution on my case. I felt very confident that my case would be resolved. I highly recommend not only mr. Fernandez but his staff Marie and Austin for an excellent service.read more
Amy Brennan
Amy Brennan
19:49 13 Jan 20
Mr. Daniel Fernandez and his staff treated me like a family member from the moment I walked into his office. He and... his staff are knowledgeable, diligent, attentive, and effective. They immediately went to work and didn't stop until they obtained the absolute best results for my case. From the moment Danny became my attorney, I felt at ease and knew that I was being represented by the best there is. I'm eternally grateful for all he and his staff have done for me. He is a true professional and an amazing advocate for your legal needs.read more
Irene Meadows
Irene Meadows
21:56 11 Dec 19
If you need an attorney who is compassionate, knowledgeable and will be there every step of the way for you and your... family during a difficult and challenging time in your life, you have made the right decision with Daniel Fernandez and his staff. Mr. Daniel Fernandez and his staff treat you like a member of their family. My husband and I would highly recommend you contact the law office of Daniel J. Fernandez. You will be glad you did.read more
A Google User
A Google User
14:27 11 Dec 19
Great Experience, attorney Daniel J Fernandez was extremely kind, and explained everything in great detail. The staff... at the office was excellent! Great experience would recommend the attorney to anyone.read more
Luella Nelson
Luella Nelson
23:30 10 Dec 19
Attorney Daniel Fernandez My daughter was facing a few issues that was going to effect her for a very long time. I did... not know which direction to turn or what to do. I googled 5 star attorney's and Mr. Fernandez's name displayed. I called his office and spoke to his paralegal Austin. He was very kind, understanding and gave me peace of mind just by speaking to me. I then met Mr. Fernandez shortly thereafter. This Attorney is very kind, compassionate, understanding and truly cares about his clients. His proven results were simply phenomenal. He basically saved my daughter from going away for a very long time instead she is going to receive some medical treatment and soon released with a short period of supervision. Afterwards Mr. Fernandez sat down with me and explained the out come and also has a plan for her moving forward. I know that each situation is different however this attorney not only has proven results he cares and looks for cures for his clients. If your in need of an attorney for any situation I suggest that you call Attorney Daniel Fernandez. I assure you that you will not be disappointed. -----Original Message-----read more
Joe Blanco
Joe Blanco
01:48 07 Dec 19
Daniel Fernandez is by far the best criminal defense attorney in the Tampa Bay area. I have used Mr. Fernandez for... several years to help my son with several issues he has faced. He compassionate, informative, and reliable. If you are in need of a criminal defense lawyer I highly recommend you to hire Mr. Fernandezread more
Anjeanette Blanco
Anjeanette Blanco
22:37 06 Dec 19
Daniel J. Fernandez has been my lawyer for 25 years and he is amazing! He is always available when needed and goes... above beyond. His entire office staff is always friendly and helpful. I highly recommend Mr. Fernandez.read more
Nicole Tarantelli
Nicole Tarantelli
17:36 02 Dec 19
I am so pleased with the experience I had with everyone in their office. The service was excellent! Everyone was kind... and patient. I mostly dealt with Austin. He did everything he said and always returned my calls the same day. I am incredibly grateful for all the hard work!read more
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Cheryl Stinson
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gilbert Lozada
gilbert Lozada
18:23 01 Nov 19
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stephanie santiago
18:13 21 Oct 19
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Jose Rodriguez
Jose Rodriguez
13:39 25 Sep 19
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Genesis Padilla
04:22 12 Sep 19
Mr. Fernandez was absolutely amazing with our family’s case. Very genuine and intelligent. Austin was a pleasure to... work with as well. We had a great experience overall, we were blown away by what he was able to accomplish so quickly.read more
Alex Gomez
Alex Gomez
15:13 14 Aug 19
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D Serano
D Serano
01:21 18 Jul 19
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