Stalking and Harassment
Charges of stalking, harassment, and extortion (verbal or written threats) are all quite serious. If you have been accused or charged with a related crime, you are likely frightened. Retaining a skilled attorney will give you peace of mind during a chaotic time in your life. These crimes are often personal, with both parties involved in some kind of platonic or romantic relationship. Being accused of stalking or any kind of harassment by someone you know can be scary—especially if you did nothing wrong. At Pallegar Law, P.A., we work hard every day to protect your rights. If you have been charged with a crime related to stalking or harassment, contact an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A.Stalking
The crime of stalking is defined as repeatedly following, harassing, or cyberstalking someone. In these cases, the victim experiences a significant amount of emotional distress because of the willful and malicious acts that constitute stalking. Cyberstalking is defined as sending words or photos electronically to someone, with the intent to cause emotional distress.
Stalking is, at a minimum, a first-degree misdemeanor. This is punishable by one year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, this crime is easily upgraded to aggravated stalking if there are threats or intents to cause great bodily harm. Aggravated stalking is classified as a third-degree felony, and can land you in prison for 15 years with fines of up to $10,000. A charge can become aggravated stalking if the victim has a no contact order against the defendant (i.e. because of a sex crime conviction). If this injunction is violated, the charge is automatically upgraded from stalking to aggravated stalking.
If you or someone you know has been charged or accused of stalking, contact an aggressive Tampa criminal defense attorney at Pallegar Law, P.A. today.Extortion and Threats
The crime of extortion occurs when verbal or written threats are made in order to hurt someone, their property, or their reputation. These threats are made in order to gain something from the victim, such as money, or to make the victim do something. Written threats to kill or greatly injure someone are considered extortion as well. These crimes are all considered second-degree felonies, and are punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.Defenses to These Crimes
If you are found to be conducting legitimate activity, such as business or legal matters, this is a credible defense to a stalking charge. For example, Person A is attempting to contact Person B in order to sort out the custody of their child. Person B doesn’t like Person A, and decides to call the police and tell them that they are being stalked. Person A can use the defense of legitimate activity, because they were only attempting to solve a matter of child custody.Call Pallegar Law, P.A. Today
If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime related to harassment, contact a knowledgeable Tampa criminal defense attorney today so we can get to work fighting the charges against you. Call 813-444-3912 for a free consultation.