Domestic Violence and Electronic Harassment
Electronic harassment is the crime of placing another person in reasonable fear for their safety through the use of an electronic device. Examples of electronic harassment include conduct such as posting information about someone online with the intent that other people harass them, or identifying details about someone on a website so that people can threaten the victim. This crime may be charged as a domestic violence offense if the person targeted is one of the parties listed under California Family Code Section 6211 FC. At the Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings, we prioritize our clients by remaining available to them, informing them of the status of their case and providing a realistic overview of their case. Our office represents clients facing criminal charges for a range of domestic violence offenses, including internet crimes. Domestic violence and electronic harassment is a type of internet crime that encompasses cyberstalking, and revenge porn. Mandatory sentencing conditions apply in domestic violence cases, and Attorney Comings zealously provides the strongest legal advocacy possible for every client throughout Riverside and surrounding communities.Electronic Harassment and Domestic Violence
According to Penal Code Section 653.2 PC, it is illegal to engage in indirect harassment of another person through the use of a phone, computer, video recorder, or other “electronic communication device.” In comparison to cyberstalking, which is a direct threat or harassment, electronic harassment occurs when electronic communications are used to place the victim in fear of their safety. In other words, the defendant posts information that encourages other people to stalk or harass the victim.
Legally, harassment is a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person. A reasonable person must consider this conduct annoying or alarming. The conduct must not serve a legitimate purpose.
Defendants convicted of this type of indirect harassment may face mandatory conditions if the victim is listed under California Family Code Section 6211 FC. This provision includes a current or former spouse, a current or former cohabitant, a boyfriend or girlfriend, a child, or another person related by “consanguinity or affinity within the second degree.” California law holds that domestic violence offenses have certain sentencing requirements set forth under California Penal Code Section 1203.097.Penalties and Defenses for Electronic Harassment and Domestic Violence Criminal Charges
Mandatory conditions set forth by strict sentencing requirements include fines and other penalties. A minimum fine of $500 must be paid, unless there is a determination of financial hardship. Additionally, the victim must be apprised of the disposition of the case. Defendants are also required to complete community service and a 52-week batterer’s program. Other mandatory conditions may also apply.
California law holds that after someone is sentenced for a domestic violence offense, they must be placed on probation. This period of probation lasts at least three years. The court also requires a protective order that seeks to prevent the victim from experiencing further acts of threats, stalking, abuse, violence, or harassment. There are varying levels of protective orders. A “Level One” order may provide for contact between the two parties, provided it is peaceful. Alternatively, a full stay-away no contact order would not allow the defendant to have contact with the victim.
As a defense to criminal charges for electronic harassment, a lawyer may be able to argue that the intent requirement was not met. For example, if the defendant did not intend to cause others to threaten the victim, they cannot be held liable. In some situations, a casual comment may be misunderstood. The defendant must have the criminal intent to harass for criminal charges to stand.
It is important to note that as a domestic violence offense, even if the prosecution reduces criminal charges, courts may apply mandatory sentencing provisions set forth in the California Penal Code Section 1203.097. This is likely when the victim is listed under the California Family Code Section 6211 FC.Understand Your Legal Options by Consulting a Riverside Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer
Domestic violence defense lawyer Gregory H. Comings brings nearly two decades of experience to his dedicated and effective legal advocacy. Clients benefit from early intervention in a criminal case, as it may lead to dismissal or reduction of charges. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, contact Attorney Comings at the Law Offices of Gregory H. Comings today by calling (951) 686-3457 or completing our online form. We are proud to help people throughout Riverside, Palm Desert, Redlands, Palm Springs, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Indio, and beyond.