Thursday, May 17, 2018

NEW CYBERSTALKING LAW IN ILLINOIS

After a court ruled that part of the Illinois Cyberstalking law was unconstitutional, the legislature updated the law.

Under the new law, you commit cyberstalking when you knowingly, surreptitiously, and without lawful justification, place tracking software on an electronic communication device as a means of harassing another person. You must have threatened the other person or their family with immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint. This offense also applies if you simply caused a reasonable fear of such harm.

As under the prior law, it is cyberstalking if you used electronic communications:

1) Directed at a specific person, that you knew or should have known would cause a reasonable person to fear for their or a third person’s safety or suffer other emotional distress.

2)Knowingly and without lawful justification at least twice to harass another person, and you transmitted a threat directed to that person or their family of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement, or restraint, or you caused the other person or their family to fear such harm.

You may be charged with cyberstalking even if you had a third party make the threats for you, or you posted the threats on an internet website that was accessible to third parties for at least 24 hours.

Cyberstalking is a Class 4 felony (1 to 3 years in prison) for a first offense and a Class 3 felony for later offenses (2 to 5 years in prison).

If you have been charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its best possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove you guilty of all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove you committed the offense knowingly? Was the tracking software already installed in the electronic communication device by the manufacturer? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

Source: Illinois Cyberstalking Law.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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