So, you've been charged and arrested for the crime of cyberstalking and you have no idea what to do next. Should you get a lawyer immediately? Will the charges made against you affect your work, school, and personal life overall? No need to fret, this article would discuss all your concerns and would answer any mind-boggling questions you may have.
Crimes like cyberstalking come with penalties that could leave you convicted as charged or even pay huge fines. These penalties most times can affect you financially for a short or long period and may leave you feeling disoriented especially when you have no idea what to do, who to run to, or even little about the law. When faced with these charges, it would be difficult for you to get yourself free, you would need an attorney who is highly experienced and qualified in dealing with cases like these. Attorney Carl Barkemeyer can help handle your case, and help you get your name cleared. But before that, here's what you need to know regarding the criminal offense cyberstalking.
What is cyberstalking (Louisiana Law - Cyberstalking La R.S. 14:40.3)?
Cyberstalking under La RS 14: 40.3 is referred to the use of the internet or any form of electronic communication such as emails, instant messages, a conversation in a group, or even messages posted online to harass, intimidate and even threaten a person.
Some expressions and their meanings thoroughly explained are:
Electronic mail simply means the Sending or transfer of information or communication through the use of the web, a video recorder, a pager, cellular telephone, computer, etc. to someone who is identified by a distinctive address and received by that same person.
Electronic communication refers to the sending of signals, writing, images, sound, data, signs, and Intel of any kind by parts or as a whole through photo-optical, computers, radio, wire, photoelectric or electromagnetic system.
What is involved when charged with cyberstalking?
A person can be charged for cyberstalking when any of these actions are carried out:
Using electronic mails or electronic communication of any language to swindle money or valuable items from a person or threats to cause bodily harm to any person be it sibling, spouse, child, or even threats to damage the property of the person.
Electronic communication or electronic messages repeatedly to harass or terrify the person no matter if a conversation takes place or not.
Electronic communication or messages to another person and intentionally making untrue statements regarding injury, illness death, criminal conduct of the person electronically communicated, or the family of the person all to blackmail, threaten and even harass the person.
Cyberstalking is a serious misdemeanor in Louisiana and as such carries serious penalties. In Louisiana, a crime is a felony if it may have a punishment at hard labor. Cyberstalking does NOT include a possibility of hard labor, although it does allow imprisonment at a parish jail. This really is only important in the sense that it allows for a six-person jury trial as opposed to most misdemeanors that carry a sentencing range of up to 6 months do not allow for a jury trial; only a judge trial.
A person who is charged with the crime for the first time would be convicted for more than 12 months or shall be fined with not more than two thousand dollars. Sometimes the offender may have to bear both penalties, so it can be said that cyberstalking is no little crime.
If someone is convicted for a second time within seven years of the first conviction on the charge of cyberstalking, the offender may be fined five thousand dollars (5,000) or maybe imprisoned for six months to 3 years (36 months) or even both.
If the person is convicted for a third, fourth, fifth or subsequently on the charge of cyberstalking within 7 years to a prior conviction on the same charge, the offender shall be fined a sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or would be imprisoned for 24-60 months that's 2-5 years or may even bear both penalties.
As regards the personal property used to carry out the offense, the court shall issue a verdict for it to be confiscated, impounded, and sold by the district attorney at a public sale or auction after conviction according to the criminal law R.S. 15:539.1. This personal property may include an electronic and electronically controlled device such as computers, cars, phones, photographic equipment used to record or make still and moving visual images of the victim recorded on disc, film, videotape, paper, voice recorder or any other form of digital recording device.
Cyberstalking would only be deemed as a committed crime if the electronic content was sent to begin with, received, and initially viewed by anyone. Some defenses you can claim are:
You did not harass or even threaten the person or any family of the person in question.
The alleged threat was overstated, is not realistic, and is taken out of context.
The crime was not carried out by you but by someone else but, the victim misunderstood and thinks the suspicious messages are coming from you
You never repeatedly contacted the victim.
The victim in question is the harasser.
No threats were directed to the alleged victim.
Criminal Defense Attorney for Cyberstalking in Louisiana
The best defense for a cyberstalking crime depends on the specific case. The supposed victim of cyberstalking may have misinterpreted and misunderstood your actions. That is why you need an experienced lawyer who is proficient in criminal defenses, has a successful track record, and well versed in Louisiana laws. Contact us if you need a criminal defense attorney for cyberstalking in Louisiana.
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