Most people think of the term “stalking” as someone harassing another person in the flesh. FL Statute 784.048 says differently.
According to Florida’s criminal law, stalking is defined as when someone willfully or intentionally, maliciously and repeatedly harasses or cyberstalks another person. There is that new term “cyberstalk”.
Cyberstalking is when someone commits a series of acts that communicate words, images, or language through e-mail or other electronic communication that is directed at causing a person substantial emotional distress. In the world of social media which many of us live in, there are countless times this might occur.
So how can 784.048 backfire against you? Now that stalking no longer has to be a physical, on-site occurrence, you might be wrongfully accused of cyberstalking. This makes cases more complex and often full of mistakes that compromise the rights of the accused. Accidentally sending an e-mail with a virus attached to it or spreading rumors on websites about someone can now land you in legal trouble. We’ve seen cases before where a romantic relationship ends badly and one party wants to “get back” at their ex-partner by claiming they are being harassed. Tech evidence is key in any “he said, she said” legal battle.
Having an injunction or restraining order levied against you is extremely harmful. The person found in violation of a restraining order could end up in jail and paying hefty fines. When it comes to a recent bad breakup, save your e-mails, texts, etc. You never know when it can help you legally.