Tampa criminal defense attorneys are often asked about the differences between stalking and aggravated stalking. They are both obviously very serious charges, given their nature and the allegations often involved. We have handled these types of charges often and have even tried the cases, when necessary. Florida Statute Section 784.048 defines both stalking and aggravated stalking. There are several major differences between the charges.
First and foremost, aggravated stalking is a third degree felony with a maximum of five (5) years in a Florida prison, while stalking is simply a misdemeanor with a maximum of one year in county jail. Additionally, the maximum fines are significantly enhanced for aggravated stalking as opposed stalking. As we have discussed elsewhere on our Tampa criminal defense attorney blog, a felony conviction also has several long term implications for an individual, including losing your right to vote, possess firearms, hold certain positions, etc. Obviously, a conviction for either charge has very serious implications.
Secondly, aggravated stalking requires the accused to have “the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury.” While stalking simply requires essentially repeated unwanted contact, it does not require the intent and fear issues. More often than not, aggravated stalking will involve some sort of written threat to satisfy the intent requirement. In our experience, these threats are often made electronically, which makes it somewhat difficult to defend because electronic records are so carefully maintained these days. We have also seen aggravated stalking charged where the accused makes some sort of violent threat or action toward the victim.
Both charges are defensible with an experienced Tampa criminal defense attorney. We have handled both charges and have had great success getting them either reduced or dropped, especially in cases where intent is an issue in the case. A consultation with one of our Tampa criminal defense attorneys is always free, if you would like to contact one of our Tampa criminal defense attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate you taking the time to check out our Tampa criminal defense attorney blog.