They say that the classic romantic fairytale goes something like this:
- Boy meets girl
- Girl likes boy
- Boy messes up
- Girl hates boy
- Boy tries to make it up to girl
- Boy and girl fall back in love
- Happily ever after
The classic romantic fairytale does not remotely resemble anything like this:
- Boy meets girl
- Girl publishes essay on their sexual encounter that occurred when she was 13
- Boy posts hundreds of online comments some of which are in the comments section of the girl’s essay
- Boy claims girl is fabricating the story
- Boy vacillates between threatening girl and begging forgiveness/expressing love
- Boy threatens to kill himself over girl’s essay
- Boy is indicted on cyberstalking charges
The second story describes a cyberstalking encounter between Byron Cardozo and his victim who remains unnamed for her protection. It’s unclear, but unlikely, that Cardozo was named in the article.
Understanding Florida’s Cyberstalking Law
The State of Florida defines cyberstalking and stalking in the Florida Statutes 784.048. According to these statutes, cyberstalking is when a person threatens, intimidates, harasses another individual via online communication causing substantial emotional distress. These communications must be willful, malicious, and repeated. That describes misdemeanor cyberstalking. When an individual adds a “credible threat” to the mix or engages in this sort of behavior toward a child, then it rises to a third-degree felony called aggravated cyberstalking.
In addition, a person may be charged with cyberstalking if they violate a court order of no contact after being accused of sexual or physical violence. This is also a third-degree felony.
What to Do if You’ve Been Accused of Cyberstalking
Cyberstalking is an umbrella term that describes a number of intentionally malicious communications directed at one person from another. Young women and those in any kind of spotlight are often targeted by unstable males for this kind of harassment. Nonetheless, there are some situations where false allegations are made or levied at an individual who may not have acted nicely, but whose conduct does not rise to the Florida definition of cyberstalking.
It’s important to understand that cyberstalking is a serious crime. If accused, you should contact a skilled defense attorney immediately and do not talk to or about the alleged victim.
What Qualifies as Cyberstalking?
Depending on the circumstances, any of the following may be charged under the crime of cyberstalking:
- Catfishing (or setting up fake accounts to masquerade as the victim)
- Posting the victim’s private information such as phone number or address
- Repeatedly sending unwanted sexual images to the victim
- Online sexual harassment directed at the victim
- Sextortion or revenge porn
If you’ve been accused of cyberstalking, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that you are the one who was doing the harassing. In some cases, this can be quite difficult. If you’ve been arrested, it’s important to have an attorney who will be there to help you through the process.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Cyberstalking Attorney Today
If you’ve been accused of cyberstalking, talk to the Skier Law Firm P.A. in West Palm Beach today. We can help prepare your defense and ensure that you get treated fairly.