Monday, March 5, 2012

Florida Cyberstalking Laws

 

Florida has updated their current laws reflecting cyber harassment and cyber- stalking laws as of January 11, 2012.  In light of the recent and on going trial of State v. Ravi, involving the suicide of Tyler Clementi and allegations of "spycam" invasion of privacy through which the Defendant streamed live intimate moments between Clementi and other male it will be interesting to see if parents become more watchful of their child's whereabouts on social media networks.  Most importantly, will parents start educating themselves on the legal aspects of cyberbullying, cyberstalking and cyberharassment.   Children who perpetrate these acts are possibly breaking laws if what they are doing fit into the elements of the statutes.  Parents need to arm themselves with knowledge to help stop the violence against children on line, especially if it involves their child.  Here are the updated laws:

Florida Statues: 784.048 Stalking: definitions; penalties.  Please note that if the child that perpetrates these crimes is a juvenile then they may be prosecuted in juvenile court according to the rules of the juvenile criminal code of procedure.

Florida

.784.048  Stalking; definitions; penalties.--
(1)  As used in this section, the term:
(a)  "harass" means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose.

(b)  "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct." Such constitutionally protected activity includes picketing or other organized protests.
(c)  "Credible threat" means a threat made with the intent to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety. The threat must be against the life of, or a threat to cause bodily injury to, a person.
(d)  "Cyberstalk" means to engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
(2)  Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of stalking, a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(3)  Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person, and makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of death or bodily injury of the person, or the person's child, sibling, spouse, parent, or dependent, commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(4)  Any person who, after an injunction for protection against repeat violence, sexual violence, or dating violence pursuant to s. 784.046, or an injunction for protection against domestic violence pursuant to s. 741.30, or after any other court-imposed prohibition of conduct toward the subject person or that person's property, knowingly, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks another person commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(5)  Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks a minor under 16 years of age commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(6)  Any law enforcement officer may arrest, without a warrant, any person he or she has probable cause to believe has violated the provisions of this section.
(7)  Any person who, after having been sentenced for a violation of s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5) and prohibited from contacting the victim of the offense under s. 921.244, willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows, harasses, or cyberstalks the victim commits the offense of aggravated stalking, a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(8)  The punishment imposed under this section shall run consecutive to any former sentence imposed for a conviction for any offense under s. 794.011, s. 800.04, or s. 847.0135(5).

1 comment:

  1. It is necessary for every parent to learn what is cyberstalking its impact on your child and how to protect him/her from Cyber harassement

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