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Online Stalking

Posted by Vitaly Sigal | May 16, 2024 | 0 Comments

Like most states, California has outlawed stalking of any kind, including stalking by using an electronic communication device. Additionally, online stalking is considered a “wobbler” criminal charge, meaning a defendant can be charged with both a misdemeanor and a felony charge for this crime. Felony charges and misdemeanor charges can carry vastly different penalties.

If you or someone you know has been accused of online stalking, it can seriously derail their entire lives. Such consequences are unnecessary in many cases. Reach out to Sigal Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation. Our competent criminal attorneys can help.

What is Stalking

Under the California Penal Code 646.9, stalking is defined as harassing or threatening behavior that puts another person in fear for their safety or the safety of someone in their family.

Online stalking is harassing or threatening behavior that is conducted by using an electronic communication device. The state has further defined electronic communication devices to include:

·       Cell phones

·       Landlines

·       Text messages

·       Emails

·       Faxes

·       The Internet

·       Social media

Online Stalking Defenses

Defendants accused of cyberstalking or online stalking can be charged with either a misdemeanor or felony. A misdemeanor charge can incur one year of jail time and up to $1,000 in fines. But if a defendant is charged with felony online stalking, they can face a penalty of up to three years in state prison. Moreover, if the defendant is a repeat offender or has a current criminal record, the sentence for online stalking in California can increase up to five years in prison.

To be convicted under this federal law, the prosecution must show that you had malicious intent when contacting the other person using an electronic communication device. As such, your criminal attorney will try to argue that you had no malicious intent by providing enough evidence that the prosecution could overcome it beyond a reasonable doubt with their own evidence of illegal and hostile behavior. By creating enough reasonable doubt with your defense, the prosecution cannot prove that you had malicious intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

The best way to defend yourself against such charges is to contact an experienced federal criminal attorney. The highly experienced criminal attorneys at Sigal Law Group have spent their careers helping clients avoid unnecessary and harsh consequences for alleged behavior. Schedule your free consultation today.

About the Author

Vitaly Sigal

Vitaly Sigal Sigal Law Group Owner 355 S. Grand Ave, Suite 2450 Los Angeles, CA 90071 (213) 620-0212 Vitaly Sigal has extensive trial experience and is not afraid to take your case to trial if necessary. From straightforward to complex litigation, Mr. Sigal handles every case with the same i...


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