The state of California uses Penal Code 653.2 to prosecute forms of electronic cyber harassment. Typically, this charge is used to handle indirect electronic harassment, or the posting of harmful information on the internet. This is also known as “doxing” or “doxxing.”
A PC 653.2 conviction can lead to fines and/or jail time. This offense is treated as a misdemeanor by the court system. Get additional information about how to fight electronic harassment charges with the Simmrin Law Group by calling (310) 997-4688.
The Facts About Cyber Harassment in California
The term cyber harassment refers to any kind of harassment that takes place over the internet. Some forms of cyber harassment are more direct. This is called “cyberstalking.” Direct harassment involves taking personal action against a victim. The court uses Penal Code 646.9 to prosecute direct cyber harassment.
However, not all forms of cyber harassment are direct. Sometimes individuals try to get other people to harass a third party. This leads to indirect cyber harassment. Indirect cyber harassment can lead to PC 653.2 charges in California.
Indirect Cyber Harassment in California
Indirect cyber-harassment involves posting harmful information about other people online. There are many ways to electronically post harmful information about another person. Individuals can face this charge if they take information and share it by:
- Publishing it on a webpage
- Distributing it via an electronic device
- Emailing it to other people
- Posting hyperlinks containing the information
Individuals must post this information without the consent of the alleged victim to face criminal charges. They also have to carry out this act while intending to:
- Make the alleged victim fear for their or their family’s safety
- Cause the alleged victim harassment or injury
Harassment in California can include tormenting or terrorizing another person. However, annoying or alarming someone also qualifies as harassing behavior. You can get more information about how to fight harassment charges with the Simmrin Law Group by calling(310) 997-4688.
Examples of Electronic Communication Devices in California
The use of any electronic communication device can lead to PC 653.2 charges. Some people think online harassment only involves computers, however this is not true. Individuals can also face this charge for inciting harassment with a:
- Cellphone, internet phone, or telephone
- Video recorder
- Fax machine
- Personal data assistance (PDA)
The court system treats the act of inciting others to harass a third party very seriously.
Convictions for Posting Harmful Information on the Internet
Individuals can face misdemeanor charges for indirect cyber harassment. A conviction under PC 653.2 can result in:
- Fines of up to $1,000
- Jail time of up to one year
In some cases, probation is offered for indirect cyber harassment convictions. Individuals on probation do not have to spend time in jail. However, they are required to heed restrictions handed down by the court.
Individuals who do not obey court orders can violate their probation. Probation violations are also criminal acts in California, which can result in harsher probationary regulations. The court can even increase the amount of time an individual spends on probation. In some cases, the court revokes probation after a violation. This can then lead to jail or prison time.
Legal Defenses for Indirect Cyber Harassment in California
Work on your legal defense with the Simmrin Law Group today if you have been accused of a PC 653.2 violation in California. Members of our team are ready to step in to help. Allow a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles to show that:
You Did Not Share Information without Consent
Sharing someone’s personal information to incite harassment is a criminal offense. However, you may have received permission to make the online post. In this situation, you could avoid a conviction under PC 653.2.
You Were Not Trying to Incite Harassment
Individuals must work with the intent of subjecting someone to harassment to face a PC 653.2 conviction. You could avoid conviction if you were not trying to harass or bother someone online. Discuss your situation with a lawyer now.
Contact a Lawyer About Penal Code 653.2 Charges in California Today
Reach out to the Simmrin Law Group if you have been accused of a Penal Code 653.2 violation. We are ready to help. Just call (310) 997-4688 or fill out our online contact form to reach a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles right now. We can help if you’ve been accused of posting harmful information on the internet.
Get answers to your legal questions today with a free consultation.