Raleigh Stalking and Cyberstalking Attorney
Stalking and cyberstalking are two serious problems in North Carolina, and to effectively prosecute and deter these crimes, North Carolina has undertaken more stringent policies to curtail harassment and harmful communications. Specifically, the legislation governing stalking and cyberstalking include:
Due to the nature of these crimes, it is common for alleged offenders to also receive charges such as trespassing, intimidation, breaking and entering, etc. At the same time, however, the legal definitions for stalking and cyberstalking are quite broad, and there are many loopholes that allow disgruntled spouses, ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, etc to charge an individual with these crimes.
If you or someone you know has been arrested and/or charged with either of these offenses, it is essential to contact a prominent Raleigh defense attorney experienced with these cases. At the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, we provide comprehensive legal and criminal defense services to alleged offenders.
No matter the circumstances, we’ll devote extensive resources and time into investigation the charges, aggressively represent you in courts, and, if the evidence is truly stacked against you, we’ll diligently negotiate with prosecutors and judges for an alternative or reduced sentence.
Overview of Stalking
Stalking is a fairly broad term that encompasses many different behaviors and actions. In general, “stalkers” are people who incessantly follow, watch, and impede on another person’s privacy, but to be charged with this offense, you don’t need such extensive practices. According to North Carolina statute § 14-277.3A – Stalking, a person is guilty of stalking if he/she “willfully on more than one occasion harasses another person without legal purpose or willfully engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person without legal purpose and the defendant knows or should know that the harassment or the course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to do any of the following:
(1) Fear for the person’s safety or the safety of the person’s immediate family or close personal associates.
(2) Suffer substantial emotional distress by placing that person in fear of death, bodily injury, or continued harassment.”
Therefore, some of the conduct comprising this definition could include two or more acts of being in the presence of, following, monitoring, observing, surveilling, threatening, communicating to or about a person, or interfering with a person’s property. If found guilty of stalking, the defendant is facing a Class A1 misdemeanor; for subsequent stalking offenses, the repeat offender may be facing a Class F felony.
Overview of Cyberstalking
Although similar in phrasing to stalking, cyberstalking comprises a very different set of behaviors and actions. With the ubiquity of the internet and social media on smartphones, PCs, tablets, etc, combined with inherent anonymity, it is far easier to continually harass and stalk others online. As a general definition, cyberstalking is:
- The use of electronic communication to threaten bodily harm to any person, to threaten property damage, or for the purpose of extorting money.
- Repeated electronic communication, whether or not a conversation ensues, to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass any person.
- Knowingly making false statements concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of any person (with the intent to annoy, threaten, terrify, etc)
As you can see, everything from trolling to non-sincere comments may be examined as examples of cyberstalking. Individuals charged with cyberstalking may be facing a Class 2 misdemeanor.
Defend Your Charges With Criminal Lawyer Dewey Brinkley
If you or someone you know is under investigation or arrest for a stalking or cyberstalking charge, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. Often, these cases end with a 50B order of protection; however, criminal sentencing can include jail time, restitution, and extensive fines. For a free consultation regarding your stalking or cyberstalking charges with the lawyers at the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley, make sure to call our Raleigh law office immediately at 919-832-0307 so that we can building a strong, effective defense.