Social media has become a way of life for many Americans. As people share online where they are, what they are doing, and who they are with, emotions can run high when a former partner posts new adventures with a new partner. When these emotions get the better of someone who is struggling to move on after their relationship ends, a situation can emerge that could cross the legal lines into cyberstalking territory.
If someone becomes angry or upset after monitoring a former partner's social media posts and then intimidates or threatens that person, the result is called cyberstalking. Today, when actions go too far on the internet, cyberstalking is a serious crime that could result in serious punishment.
What Types of Activities Fall in the Cyberstalking Category?
- Sending emails that harass, insult, threaten, or stalk someone.
- Contacting someone via social media or email who you do not have permission to contact because of a restraining order.
What Constitutes Cyber Stalking?
Just because someone claims another person is harassing them online, it does not mean it has happened. It can be difficult proving which behaviors constitute cyberstalking and which do not. When arguments erupt online because of an already tumultuous situation, it is not automatically cyberstalking. There are a few ways to determine whether cyberstalking is happening:
- The person who did the alleged act must have meant to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass another person.
- Threats of injury to a person or to their family or friends, or threats of destruction to their property.
When someone reports cyberstalking and the case escalates to charges, a conviction could result in a gross misdemeanor. A gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in jail. If the online bullying or stalking has happened before and the person is charged and convicted, the crime then becomes a Class C felony, which carries a penalty of spending up to five years in jail. Cyberstalking is an offense that requires the convicted to submit a DNA sample for future identification purposes.
An investigation into cyberstalking is important so that all the correct information can be uncovered. If you have been accused of cyberstalking, your best option is to secure the help of a criminal defense attorney with experience in disproving these charges. Steve Karimi can uncover all of the facts and prepare your case to defend you.
Steve Karimi's past as a prosecutor serves him well today as a criminal defense attorney. He can anticipate what the prosecution will do and prepare you and the case for the courtroom. He is aggressive, knowledgeable, and experienced, and he will make sure your rights are preserved. Call Steve Karimi today.