Cyberstalking is a serious offense in Texas, one that more defense attorneys are seeing as internet usage has become a way of life for most people.
Although cyberstalking and online harassment are considered punishable offenses, criminal lawyers do stress that there is a fine line between what is considered stalking and what is not.
If you have been charged with cyberstalking, it’s important that you retain a federal criminal defense lawyer who can defend you and protect your rights.
What Is Cyberstalking?
Defense attorneys are aware that cyberstalking basically is stalking that occurs online via the internet.
It usually begins with a disagreement between people communicating online, then escalates to harassment through continued messaging, threatening or vulgar messages, sharing of someone’s personal information online, and other malicious actions designed to cause discomfort or fear to the one being harassed.
What Are the Penalties for Cyberstalking?
Cyberstalking is a serious offense, and one that criminal lawyers know can carry some significant penalties in Texas.
Depending on the circumstances and severity of the stalking, it may be treated as anything from a Class B Misdemeanor offense to a 3rd Degree Felony.
These can carry penalties ranging from smaller fines, short jail terms, and community service to fines up to $10,000 with 5 years or more in prison.
Not All Online Disagreements Are Cyberstalking
One thing that federal criminal defense lawyers do point out about cyberstalking is that there can be a fine line in interpreting the difference between what is only a disagreement and what is actual online harassment.
Because it can sometimes be challenging to define, anyone accused of cyberstalking should make sure their rights are protected while their charges are investigated by retaining a defense attorney experienced in cyberstalking and online harassment charges.
There must usually be some type of malicious intent for online arguing or disagreements to be considered cyberstalking.
When Is Actually Considered Cyberstalking?
Under Texas online harassment laws, criminal lawyers look at cyberstalking as an offense when a person contacts another person via the internet with the intent to annoy, harass, alarm, torment, embarrass, or abuse them that would include:
- Contact via email, text message, instant message, phone, or other electronic means with the intent to harass a person.
- Continuously sending anonymous communications with the intent to harass or cause harm.
- Threatening bodily injury or harm to a person or their property in these communications.
- Publishing false reports of someone’s death or serious injury.
According to many federal criminal defense lawyers, cyberstalking is common in situations that include a bad relationship breakup, divorces, and ongoing disagreements between two people who know each other as well as sexual harassment, racism, homophobia, and other similar things.
Protect Your Rights When Charged with Cyberstalking
It is never okay to stalk someone, either online or offline; however, criminal lawyers who have dealt with cyberstalking cases know that not every accusation is based on actual cyberstalking.
Be sure to retain a defense attorney who can protect your rights and defend you if your actions don’t support the accusations of cyberstalking made against you!
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Brownsville TX 78520
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2395 La Palma Street, Suite A
San Benito TX 78586