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What Is Cyberstalking and Cyberharassment?
Under Rhode Island General Laws § 11-52-4.2, cyberstalking and cyberharassment are classified as transmitting any communication by computer or other electronic device to any person for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family.
“Harassing” is defined as a “knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or bothers the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose.”
“Course of conduct” is defined as “a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose.” However, that course of conduct does not include constitutionally protected activities. Additionally, the course of conduct me also be the kind that would “cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury.”
Cyberstalking Penalties in Rhode Island
A cyberstalking or cyberharassment charge can lead to serious repercussions, impacting your freedom, your reputation, and even your employment. The penalties for cyberstalking and cyberharassment include:
- Misdemeanor offense
- Imprisonment for up to one (1) year
- Fine of up to $500.00
- Felony offense
- Imprisonment for up to two (2) years
- Fine of up to $6,000.00
Domestic Cyberstalking and Cyberharassment Penalties in Rhode Island
Cyberharassment can also be charged as a domestic violence crime under Rhode Island General Laws 12-29 if the individual charged and the “victim” are family or household members.
Anyone who is convicted of a domestic cyberstalking and cyberharassment will face the following penalties in addition to the penalties discussed above:
- A (40) hour, twenty (20) week batterer’s intervention program
- Additional assessment fees of $125.00
- A domestic no-contact order
A domestic no- contact order prevents the individual charged with domestic cyberstalking and cyberharassment from contacting the alleged victim in anyway including phone calls, text messages, social media, face to face confrontations, and in-direct contact through another individual.
Domestic Cyberstalking and Harassment and Gun Rights
In addition to the above mentioned penalties, those who enter a plea or are convicted of domestic cyberstalking will be stripped of their gun rights under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act and the Rhode Island Firearms Act.
Reach Out to Trusted Cyberstalking Defense Lawyers Today
If you are facing cyberstalking and cyberharassment charges, call Rhode Island criminal defense attorneys to request your free, confidential consultation. We offer an aggressive legal defense team that will serve to protect you and to help you avoid the harsh punishments associated with this crime. In a system where an accusation is often enough to derail your life, you need a skilled and experienced defense lawyer in Rhode Island fighting for you.
Don’t wait any longer to tell us about your charges in a free case evaluation or call us now at 401-245-5100.