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Cyberstalking and online harassment are serious crimes

As the Internet and other forms of communication evolve, new ways of contacting people are created. Each of these options provides people with an opportunity to stalk or harass someone. Laws in Pennsylvania and around the country prohibit that type of behavior. Cyberstalking is an illegal act that can lead to criminal charges.

Cyberstalking involves the use of email, phone calls, online communication and other forms of communication to harass others. In Pennsylvania, one of the definitions of harassment is to communicate repeatedly with a person with the intent to annoy. Stalking in the state can occur at either the point of initiation or the point of reception. That means that even if a person is in another state, they can be charged with stalking in Pennsylvania if the victim of their cyberstalking is in Pennsylvania.

Many states, including Pennsylvania, have taken a stance against cyberstalking because of the harm it can do. In some cases, cyberstalking can lead to a person getting all of another person's personal information by placing spyware software on their computer. Cyberstalking is also linked to domestic violence in some cases.

As is the case with most terms, the term cyberstalking is being devalued to an extent because some people use the term when they are referring to a parent monitoring online activities. That, as well as the wide availability of programs that facilitate online monitoring, can make it difficult to determine where the legal line is drawn.

If you are facing cyberstalking charges, you should work to understand the laws that pertain to your case. This can help you to decide on a defense strategy.

Source: Norton, "Straight Talk About Cyberstalking," Marian Merritt, accessed Dec. 10, 2015

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The Law Office of Joseph Lesniak, LLC

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