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Convictions on felonies lead to years in prison

One man in Florida was recently sentenced for a felony after stalking his ex-girlfriend. The incident took place in Oct. 2014, leading to a misdemeanor charge that ended up turning into a felony charge. People charged with either misdemeanors or felonies are always presumed innocent until and unless they are actually proved guilty in a court of law.

Police said the man sneaked through his ex-girlfriend's screen and looked at her family through her window one day. When she saw him, she contacted police. Authorities said they discovered him hiding out inside a car near the woman's home.

At that time, police arrested the man for committing an injunction violation; this is a misdemeanor charge, and a conviction could lead to a year behind jail bars or probation. Following his arrest, the charge was elevated to a felony, and he was convicted in August. Prior to sentencing, prosecutors determined that the 48-year-old man was a repeat offender, as he had spent 12 years out of the last 19 years being jailed on different charges, such as attempted murder. Accordingly, his sentence was enhanced, and he will now spend 15 years behind bars. At the time of his Oct. 2014 arrest, he had already been ordered not to come into contact with the woman -- an order her violated when he sneaked into the woman's house.

Before people can be convicted for felonies in Florida, prosecutors must prove the criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This standard is in place in an effort to prevent innocent people from being found guilty of crimes they did not commit. A careful analysis of the evidence that prosecutors intend to furnish to support their accusations might be a chief area of focus for the criminal defense in determining the best manner in which to proceed before the court.

Source: orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando felon sentenced to 15 years after stalking ex-girlfriend", Stephanie Allen, Oct. 27, 2015

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