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There has been a rise in stalking incidents that often lead to violent, criminal acts in recent years. It comes in different forms, including driving continuously to a person’s workplace or home, sending unwanted notes or gifts, sending numerous unwanted messages, and making repeated phone calls. The plaintiff should provide proof that the defendant intended to put them in danger, that the defendant threatened them, and that the defendant maliciously, willfully, and repeatedly harassed or followed them if the offender is found guilty of this act. Keep on reading to learn more.

What is Stalking in Miami?

Stalking is a pattern of unwanted, repeated contact, harassment, attention, or similar behavior directed at a particular person, causing them to feel fear. Laws and their definitions differ from state to state. Similar to cases of sexual assault, stalking is about control and power. Key points to remember are:

  • Most incidents happen when someone repeatedly sends the victim unwanted notes or gifts, vandalizes their personal property, continuous texts and emails to the victim, and visits the victim at their workplace or home. Hiding behind bushes on another person’s property isn’t necessary for the act to be called stalking. In fact, most reports are against estranged partners or relatives, and more often than not, people are falsely accused of stalking.
  • Likewise, Florida’s laws protect the public from cyberstalking, which may involve electronic communications directed to a particular person. It’s defined as repeated, unsensible communication through social media, texts, or emails with the victim, causing emotional distress.

Under Florida Statutes Section 784.048, it is stated that:

  • Individuals who repeatedly, maliciously, and willfully cyberstalk, assault, or follow another person violate this law.
  • Harassment refers to the actions directed to a particular person, resulting in emotional distress and having no legitimate purpose.
  • Cyberstalking is the act of communicating images or words through electronic mails directed at a specific person, causing substantial distress and serving no legitimate purpose. It may also include the act of accessing or attempting to access the online accounts or internet-connected electronic systems of another person without their permission.
Aggravated Stalking in Miami

Aggravated Stalking in Miami

If things get worse, it can be called aggravated stalking. In Florida, this criminal act is classified into four categories including:

  • Credible Threat Aggravated Stalking

Credible threats can be non-verbal or verbal that forces the victim to fear for their safety. It may also include threats to the victim’s family members or friends. You should have proof that the defendant can execute the threat. If they can’t perform the threat, it’s not punishable under aggravated stalking. You should have evidence that the defendant has repeatedly cyberstalked, harassed, and followed another individual and made threats, which may cause physical injuries or death, to persecute them of aggravated stalking with a credible threat.

  • Child Aggravated Stalking

You should prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant harassed, cyberstalked, or followed a minor repeatedly, willfully, and maliciously.

  • Injunction Violation Aggravated Stalking

You should have proof that the defendant repeatedly, willfully, and maliciously harassed, cyberstalked, or followed another individual, and the victim had a warning against the defendant for domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, repeat violence, and other behaviors. If this happens, you should ask if they have an injunction that has been issued against them.

  • Victim of a Previous Crime Aggravated Stalking

You should establish that the alleged defendant was convicted for prohibited computer transmissions that are made for children under the age of 16, sexual activity, and crimes upon or in the presence of a minor. In addition, you should establish that they repeatedly, willfully, and maliciously harassed, cyberstalked, or followed the previous victim.

The Penalties for Stalking in Miami

It’s best to hire a stalking lawyer in Florida to educate you about your constitutional rights and options that may help with your case. Key points to consider are:

  • Stalking is a first-degree violation that can be punishable by up to one-year probation, one-year imprisonment, and a fine of $1,000.
  • Offenders will also have restraining orders. Most charges can also be included with other reports, such as trespassing, if necessary.
  • Offenders will also get five-year imprisonment and a fine of $5,000 if they were convicted of aggravated stalking combined with a felony in the third degree. Defendants can also face higher penalties if they’ve been previously convicted of stalking.
Information You Need for Your Stalking Lawsuit
Identity of the stalker.Tell the defendant to stop all contact but only do this once. Ignore them no matter what the threat is. Don’t communicate with them again. Notify law enforcement of any further contact. Your family and friends should know that someone is following or harassing you. It’ll help if you describe the defendant so that others can alert you of their presence.
Proof of stalking.Be specific. Be sure to gather all evidence of stalking – including mail messages, gifts, emails, notes, or letters – and keep a journal documenting the defendant’s behaviors. Make sure to record threatening or obscene phone calls.
Proof of damages.If they still make contact, call the law enforcement authorities or speak to an advocate. Keep a copy of emails or a log of calls received and include the details, time, and date of the email or call. You may want to consider changing your email address or contact information if you’re still continuously being harassed.

Pro Tip

“Stalkers may obsess with their victims and express this obsession through different means? Some common reasons for this behavior may include revenge, control, and power.”

Speak With a Stalking Lawyer in Miami Today

If you think another person is stalking you, online or in-person, talk to a stalking lawyer in Miami immediately to discuss filing a complaint. Our lawyers can assess your case and help you determine if you have enough information for a lawsuit. We can also help you gather critical information to file a complaint against a stalker and get the compensation you deserve, including pain and suffering claimsContact us now at 1-800-567-HURT.

Stalking FAQs

Unlike harassment, stalking can be a misdemeanor if there’s no prior conviction or a felony if the defendant has a previous conviction. In addition, the defendant should commit at least one or more of the following acts on more than one occasion:

  • Harassing an individual
  • Following you in places aside from your residence
  • Driving by your workplace, school, or other places you frequently visit

Filing a report doesn’t take a lot of proof to have probable cause to convict someone of stalking. All it takes is someone filing a report that a person made them feel intimidated and harassed. Usually, a malicious alleged plaintiff may lie to law enforcement authorities even if there was no contact and the alleged victim can’t support the claim with proof beyond their statement.

Malicious acts by an intimate partner are the most dangerous kind of stalking. Intimate partner stalkers have more knowledge of their victims because they have so much personal information about the victim. Likewise, they tend to be more threatening, interfering, and insulting than non-intimate partner stalkers. Law enforcement authorities have found a strong link between women who were murdered by their current or previous partners and stalking.