Florida Statute Section 748.048 regulates “cyber stalking” in Florida. Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys are often asked about the above referenced charges because many times they’re used out of context both in the media and in our day-to-day conversations. For example, how many times have you ever heard someone say that they’re stalking someone in jest? Stalking and cyber stalking are obviously illegal under Florida Criminal Law but what constitutes the commission of the crimes is far different than what you likely believe. Ultimately, at its core, stalking consists of repeated unwanted contact with another party. Many Tampa Criminal Defense Attorneys will tell you, it is often somewhat difficult for the State Attorney’s Office to actually prove stalking charges against individuals.
Traditionally, stalking was most involved with people showing up at someone’s house or workplace over and over, phone calls, letters or any other form of contacts where the other party simply does not want the same contact. Previously, this was limited to only some sort of a physical visitation, letter, or phone calls. With the advent of the internet and social media, cyber stalking has evolved. Cyber stalking essentially occurs in the same manner, but now involves emails, Facebook posts, Facebook pokes, Twitter follows/comments, etc. Unfortunately for criminal defendants, cyber stalking is far easier to prove because of the copious records kept by websites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. While traditional stalking was often a he/she said type of case, these cases now involve electronic records which are maintained and kept putting criminal defendants in a difficult situation.
If you believe you are a victim of stalking and/or cyber stalking, the most helpful remedy available to you at this time is an injunction. We discussed injunctions elsewhere on our blog, specifically under domestic violence and/or family law sections. If you have questions about an injunction, I would direct you to those areas of our blog, where you can have those frequently asked questions answered quickly for you. Ultimately, an injunction will keep the party that’s bothering you away from you. It also can result in criminal prosecution because the injunction is a court order, if it is violated. Additionally, I would advise you if you believe you are being cyber stalked immediately notify law enforcement and begin keeping a record of those unwanted contacts so that they aren’t deleted or misplaced as often happens with digital data.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning stalking and/or cyber stalking, contact the Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney of Hackworth Law for free case consultation. We’ve helped many individuals in your situation. Additionally as we’ve discussed elsewhere on our blog, our firm mixes the knowledge and experience with both family law and criminal defense. Often stalking involves the intersection of these two areas because of the previous relationship between two parties. We appreciate you looking at our Tampa Criminal Defense Attorney blog, if you have any questions or want to further discuss this, please do not hesitate to use our “Contact Us Now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate your time and attention and look forward to working with you in the future.