A 32-year-old convicted sex offender was placed under arrest Wednesday after deputies claimed he stalked a young girl. He was charged with aggravated stalking of a victim under 16.
The alleged stalking event was said by the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office to have occurred this month in DeLand, Florida. The man supposedly drove by a 14-year-old girl several times while she was walking to her bus stop and then stopped his truck close to her. The girl apparently was in fear for her safety.
According to My Fox Orlando, the girl told investigators the truck was stopped so close to her she could see inside and she was afraid the man was going to address her. The man allegedly drove away when more people appeared.
The girl relayed the events to a school administrator who in turn contacted the Sheriff’s Office. They used the information provided by the girl to track down the accused, who supposedly lives less than two miles away from where the alleged incident occurred.
The man was convicted in 2001 of lewd or lascivious battery on a victim between 12 and 15 years old.
This man’s prior status as a convicted sex offender will undoubtedly have an impact on the results of the aggravated stalking charge he now faces. It will be interesting to see how the prosecution chooses to move forward with these charges and what strategies the defense chooses to implement. While aggravated stalking is a defensible crime, because of the man’s past in combination with the new charges the State will most likely push hard for a conviction.
Stalking arrests can arise after a person’s repeated conduct brings about considerable emotional distress in another. To prove the crime of aggravated stalking of a victim under 16 years of age, prosecutors must prove two elements beyond a reasonable doubt: 1.) The accused willfully, repeatedly and maliciously followed or harassed the victim and 2.) The victim was under 16 years of age when the incident took place. Aggravated stalking of a victim under the age of 16 is a felony that carries up to five years in prison, meaning that the state of Florida takes this crime quite seriously.
While many sex crimes cases go on to trial or even sometimes get dropped altogether, most cases are resolved through what is called a negotiated plea or plea-bargain. While there are positive and negatives for each, a plea negotiation can reduce a level of uncertainty that trial creates. A plea-bargain can often result in reduced charges and reduced sentences. In certain circumstances, a negotiated plea can involve a period of probation or house arrest and result in reduced fines and restitution, or possibly no fine at all. The state of Florida has specific sentencing guidelines that factor in the nature of the offense, a person’s prior record, injury and harm to the victim, along with other influences, so it is important to seek the assistance of an experienced sex crimes defense lawyer.
An educated sex crimes criminal defense lawyer can often negotiate a better plea deal than the unrepresented client. Even if the facts or your previous criminal record point heavily towards guilt, the aggressive Florida Sex Crimes Criminal Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton may play an instrumental role in the negotiation process.
If you or your loved one has a previous sex crime conviction and has been charged with a new crime in Volusia County or throughout the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Attorneys at Whittel & Melton online 24/7 or dial our central Florida consultation office statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).
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