Criminal Law/Cyberstalking

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Question
Mr. Hauck first I'd like to thank you for your time.
Back in October 2013 my friend/neighbor approached me very irate and screaming she'd no longer car pool with me because my 11 yr old son had repeatedly struck her 10 yr old daughter in the head causing headaches and making her cry. She was cursing and animated so I simply said I'd ask my son and take care of it. Long story short, my son denied it and I believe him. She and I always communicated via text so I texted her that my son denied hitting her child and asked when it could have occurred because they are never alone together. I also informed her that while driving her child to school that morning her child burst in to tears because her parents were splitting up and dad was moving several states away that day. She said she promised her mom she would not cry and had held it in until she got in the car. I suggested that when she arrived home crying she may have made up the story to explain why she was in tears. The mother did not take that well and we had 2 days of back and forth text messages. My son asked me if he could ask her daughter at some point why she had made up this story.  I told him I was ok with that but not at school.  I then told her my son wanted to ask her daughter and I'd given him permission as long as it was not as school.  On the 3rd day she brought the issue to the school principle when it had nothing to do with school and my son was pulled from class by the principle and the sheriff assigned to his school and basically told to stay away from her daughter.  I'm sure about now you are rolling your eyes because it is as ridiculous as it sounds.  From that day in October until last week it was quiet. Then on Jan. 9th a sheriff showed up at my door and told me I was under arrest for cyberstalking.  I was put in leg irons, fingerprinted, DNA taken, mug shots.  My name will be in the paper, my mug shot will be online.  I cried for 2 days.  The warrant says my son hit her child and I texted her for several days(keep in mind the texts for the most part went both ways)and had given my son permission to confront her daughter.  That's it.  The fact that a magistrate even found cause for me to be arrested baffles me.  I'm fairly confident it will be dismissed.  I don't even have the texts anymore because it was so long ago but got a record of the times they were sent and there were 11 from me and 6 from her over 2 days. I don't think she should be allowed to make such a ridiculous police report and cause so much stress in my life and that of my children over such silly nonsense.  Do I have any recourse here?  Can I sue her civilly for this?  Even if dismissed this will always be something people can look up and find and I have never been in trouble for anything other then speeding.

Answer
Bonnie,

Let me start out by agreeing with you that yes, this is a very unfortunate incident.  If I take your word on the situation my advice would be to fight these charges tooth and nail.  You need to take your money and hire/retain the best criminal defense attorney you can.  Then, once you have successfully defended yourself you may be able to sue her civilly for damages to include perhaps, civil damages to your reputation, court expenses, etc.  Your attorney will know for sure and will guide you.  I would document everything and be prepared to hand over that information to your attorney.  This is not something you can or should handle on your own.  From what you have stated this situation appears very serious and must be treated in like manner.  

Best of luck.  My thoughts are with you.

Jeff  

Criminal Law

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Jeffrey Hauck

Expertise

I would welcome the opportunity to answer questions relating to or related to the field of criminal law.

Experience

Criminologist. Professor of Criminal Justice. Licensed Private Detective with expansive clientele base encompassing hundreds of cases. Donates resources and time to the Children's Rescue Network in Orlando, FL.

Education/Credentials
Associate of Science; Bachelor of Arts; Master of Science, Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree.

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