The explosion of social media and online dating sites has revolutionized the way Americans meet each other, and the ways that Americans argue and fight with each other. The Internet is a tempting tool when you are angry at someone, or when you just want to know what a person is doing in their life. It is also a way to harass, intimidate and annoy a person, through any number of ways. These temptations are especially difficult for recently separated lovers and teenagers, and we see a fair number of these people in our office after that have gone a little too far on the Internet. Cyberstalking is a serious crime, and if you have been accused of this crime you need an experienced and aggressive attorney to represent you.Cyber or Internet Stalking
Internet stalking involves sending someone emails or hacking into his or her computer with the intent to harass and stalk him or her. If a restraining order is in place, contacting someone through email constitutes communication with him or her and may be deemed a violation of a restraining order. Even if that restraining order was issued in another state, under the Violence Against Women Act and the full faith and credit provisions of the Constitution, a protection order issued in one state must be enforced in another state. As such, if an email is sent to someone living in a different state that has a protection order against you, you can still be prosecuted for violating the terms of the protection order.What is Cyberstalking?
What constitutes internet or cyberstalking is not always clear. Disputes after a divorce or disagreements between friends or former business partners may be carried out over the internet. Just because one person claims they're being harassed doesn't mean it's true. Under Washington law cyberstalking is when a person intends to harass, intimidate, torment or embarrass another person, and in order to do that makes an electronic communication (email, text, chat, etc.) to that person, either (1) using lewd, indecent or obscene words or images or language, or (2)anonymously and repeatedly whether or not a conversation occurs, or (3) threatening to inflict injury on the person or their property or any ember of their family or household. Cyberstalking is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail for a first offense, but if it involves threats to kill another person or if the person has a prior conviction for harassing the same victim in the past, it is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in jail. Cybertalking is also one of the few misdemeanor offenses that require a person convicted to provide a DNA sample for future identification purposes.
If you are accused of Cyberstalking it is important that all of the facts are known. Our office thoroughly investigates the circumstances surrounding allegations of internet stalking in order to tell our client's side of the story and expose the facts.Contact a Seattle Internet Stalking Defense Attorney
The Internet crime defense lawyers of The Meryhew Law Group, PLLC represent individuals in the Seattle area and throughout the State of Washington. If you have been accused of Internet or cyberstalking, or have been threatened with a protection order because of your online activity, strong legal advocacy and sound advice are two things you cannot afford to do without. Call us today to schedule a free initial consultation.