There are many situations that can result in accusations of domestic violence. One type of domestic violence charge involves stalking. Washington law defines stalking under RCW 9a.46.110 as a person who “intentionally and repeatedly harasses or repeatedly follows another person” and “intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person”.
But stalking does not always have to involve physical acts such as harassment or following. Harassment and stalking can also be alleged when a person torments another on the Internet. This is referred to as cyberstalking and it is a gross misdemeanor in Washington. RCW 9.61.260(1) states that:
A person is guilty of cyberstalking if he or she, with intent to harass, intimidate, torment, or embarrass any other person, and under circumstances not constituting telephone harassment, makes an electronic communication to such other person or a third party.
There are many acts that can be considered cyberstalking. For example, creating a fake Facebook profile for another person or a page about another person could be considered harassment. This may be considered domestic violence when the perpetrator shares a close family or intimate relationship with the victim. This could include an ex-husband creating fake profiles in order to keep online surveillance of his ex-wife or a mother using surveillance equipment to spy on the actions of the father of her child.
While cyberstalking may seem like a minor offense and some might even take seriously, it can lead to criminal charges that result in consequences such as fines, and even jail time. Additionally, a domestic violence conviction of any type can lead to a no contact order as well as a blemish on one's criminal record. If you have been accused of cyberstalking or any type of domestic violence offense in Seattle, contact a defense attorney right away. The charges you are facing are serious and immediate action is needed.