Under Illinois cyberstalking law, you may be charged with stalking through the use of electronic media. In an era in which technology is changing at breathtaking speed, cases like this are increasingly common.
If you are approached by police on suspicion of cyberstalking, contact me immediately. Once retained, I can advise police that you are unwilling to answer questions and protect your rights. It could mean the difference between being charged with a crime and being left alone.
Do not try to explain the situation to police yourself. What sounds like a reasonable explanation to you may end up giving the state just the evidence it needs to convict you. Be advised that police generally need a warrant to search your computer for evidence of the cyberstalking unless some other exception to the warrant requirement exists. (See our related blog post Can Police Search your Computer?).
If you are charged with cyberstalking, an experienced attorney can help you present your best defense. Was the search legal? Did police have probable cause to arrest you? Can the state prove you guilty of all the elements of cyberstalking beyond a reasonable doubt? Even if police acted properly and the evidence against you is overwhelming, I can help negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you might obtain on your own.
Under Illinois law, you commit cyberstalking when you:
- engage in a course of conduct using electronic communication directed at a specific person, and you knew or should have known your conduct would cause the other person to fear for their safety or the safety of a third person, or that the other person would suffer emotional distress.
- knowingly and without lawful justification, use electronic communication to harass another person at least twice and threaten immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint.
- Solicit a third party to commit the cyberstalking for you.
- Post an accessible website for at least 24 hours containing threats against the other person.
Cyberstalking includes the use of spyware or other types of electronic monitoring.
Cyberstalking is a Class 4 felony, punishable by up to one to four years in prison. Repeat offenses are a Class 3 felony, punishable by 2 to 5 years in prison.
©2018 Matt Keenan. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this website should not be construed as formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.