If you've been accused of cyberstalking a former romantic partner, the consequences will be just as serious as if you were stalking him or her in person. Cyberstalking is using the internet, e-mail, or other telecommunication technologies to stalk or harass another person. It's important to note that this doesn't include just the annoyance of unsolicited e-mail, but cyberstalking is methodical, deliberate, and persistent.
This post is about cyberstalking specifically, but you can learn more about every form of stalking elsewhere on our website. The law applies to all forms of stalking, but you may not realize some actions that you take online are indeed considered stalking by the law.
New Jersey, like most states, has strong laws against this kind of behavior. New Jersey statute N.J.S.A 2C:12-10 defines stalking as a course of conduct that involves repeatedly committing harassment against a person, or causing threats to be conveyed by any means of communication, including threats that are implied. It also includes communicating to or about a person. That would include things like setting up a fake website about that person intended to humiliate them or impersonating them on such a website or on social media.
Some Examples of Cyberstalking
- Sending unwanted, frightening, or obscene e-mails, text messages, or instant messages
- Harassing or threatening you on social media
- Tracking your computer and internet use
- Using technology such as GPS to track where you are
- Identity Theft can also be considered cyberstalking
- False Accusations made online
- Joining the same groups and forums as the victim
- Creating fake profiles on social media to follow the victim
- And many more
What are the potential penalties?
At a minimum, a stalking conviction is considered a fourth-degree offense in Jew Jersey, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of $10,000. If there was an existing restraining order against the defendant, or if that person was in jail or on parole, the conviction can be for a third-degree offense. A person can be found guilty of a third-degree offense if there have been previous offenses against the same person. A person found guilty of a third-degree offense can face 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
An Experienced New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney
You'll need to find an experienced attorney if you find yourself accused of cyberstalking. Attorney Joseph D. Lento has many years of experience defending and advising people who have been accused of stalking. A person convicted of cyberstalking can face time in jail as well as large financial penalties, but a conviction can not only impact a person during the time served in jail, but it can also impact someone's professional and personal life even after they get out. Joseph Lento can help get the charges reduced or dropped.
Joseph Lento will explain the charges to you. He will build a solid defense and will work toward getting your charges reduced or even dismissed. Contact the Lento Law Firm Criminal Defense Team today if you have been accused of cyberstalking.