As reported by Richard Salit in the August 24, 2013 edition of the Providence Journal, a Warren man was been arrested for cyberstalking. He is accused of sending text messages and calling a minor. In July of 2013, the man pled to a charge of cyberstalking and received one (1) year probation, mental health counseling and a no contact order was imposed. He is now also being charged as a probation violator.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-52-4.2, cyberstalking/cyberharrassment is defined as whoever transmits any communication by computer or other electronic device to any person or causes any person to be contacted for the sole purpose of harassing that person or his or her family. The term "computer" is broadly defined to include an electronic, magnetic, optical, hydraulic or organic device or group of devices which, pursuant to a computer program, to human instruction, or to permanent instructions contained in the device or group of devices, can automatically perform computer operations with or on computer data and can communicate the results to another computer or to a person. The term "computer" includes any connected or directly related device, equipment, or facility which enables the computer to store, retrieve or communicate computer programs, computer data or the results of computer operations to or from a person, another computer or another device.
The term "harassing" means any knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person which seriously alarms, annoys, or bothers the person, and which serves no legitimate purpose. The course of conduct must be of a kind that would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, or be in fear of bodily injury. "Course of conduct" means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of "course of conduct."
The penalties for a first offense include a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. A first offense is a misdemeanor conviction.
The penalties for a second offense include imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, by a fine of not more than six thousand dollars ($6,000), or both. A second offense is a felony conviction. Cyberstalking/cyberharassment can also be charged as a domestic violence crime. If convicted, the additional penalty of domestic violence counseling would be imposed.
If you or a family member has been charged with cyberstalking, assault or other domestic violence crimes, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.