With the rise of technology, internet-based crimes have become more common in our society. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, nearly 300,000 complaints were made concerning internet crime in 2017. Illinois ranked number seven on the list of states with the most internet crime incidences. The state of Illinois made changes to the Cyberstalking section of the Criminal Code of 2012, which went into effect at the beginning of 2018.
What Is Cyberstalking?
According to Illinois law, cyberstalking takes places when a person uses electronic communication to cause another person to fear for their safety or suffer emotional distress. The law also says that cyberstalking is committed if a person uses electronic communication to harass another person on two or more occasions and threatens bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint of the person or a family member of the person.
Changes to the Law
Changes to the cyberstalking law that went into effect in January include provisions detailing the use of monitoring software used to harass another person. The law says that a person commits cyberstalking if they place electronic monitoring software or spyware on an electronic device for the purpose of harassing another person and they make threats of sexual assault, confinement, bodily harm or restraint. The law also provides provisions detailing situations in which the placing of monitoring software would not be considered secretive, meaning if the users of the devices knew about the software, it would not be considered secretive.
Consequences of Violations
Cyberstalking is a Class 4 felony and a second or subsequent conviction is a Class 3 felony. Class 4 felonies carry a base sentence of one to three years in prison, with the possibility of an extended term of three to six years in prison or up to two and a half years of probation. Class 3 felonies carry a base sentence of two to five years in prison, with the possibility of an extended term of five to 10 years in prison or up to two and a half years of probation.
Contact an Arlington Heights Criminal Defense Attorney
Cyber crimes can be hard to prove and tricky to navigate - that’s why you need the help of an experienced Arlington Heights criminal defense attorney to guide you through the process. Scott F. Anderson, Attorney at Law can help you protect your rights and fight for the best result possible. Call 847-253-3400 to schedule a consultation.
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