California’s Cyberstalking Laws 

Cyberstalking can be a terrifying experience for any victim, especially someone who feels threatened by the other party. California’s cyberstalking laws aim to prevent this and hold those accountable responsible for the injury they cause. If you have been a victim or believe you could have been, do not wait to contact The Senators Firm for legal representation and guidance.

What Are California’s Cyberstalking Laws?

The state’s cyberstalking laws fall under Penal Code 646.9 PC. This law makes it a crime for anyone to stalk another person using any type of electronic communication device, including tablets, smartphones, or computers. Stalking is a term that can be easily misunderstood, but in broad terms, it applies to anyone who feels threatened or harassed due to ongoing communication. If a person feels that they or their family are at risk, it could fall under this area of the law.

Keep in mind that this applies to all forms of electronic communication, including:

  • Text messages
  • Phone calls
  • Video messages
  • Direct messages on social media
  • Email

How Does Cyberstalking Occur?

There are many examples of what cyberstalking is and how it occurs. Some of the most common examples that occur in California include the following:

  • Sexting, or sending messages that are unwanted or disturbing and explicit to other people
  • Sending harassing or threatening emails or messages to another person
  • Posting another person’s personal information, such as where they work, where they live, or their phone number, online with the goal of encouraging others to harass them
  • Posing as another person in a chatroom to engage in conversation
  • Sending threatening emails at work or to a person’s work email

To be considered cyberstalking, a person must have willfully or maliciously harassed another person and made some type of threat against them. In some way, the victim feels as if their safety is at risk. There are many examples of how this can occur. Do not take them lightly.

Under the state’s laws, a person who is found to be guilty of this could be charged with a misdemeanor with up to one year in county jail and fines of up to $1,000. If the charges are a felony, this could lead to up to 5 years in California State Prison, up to $1,000 in fines, and possible lifetime registration as a sex offender in some situations.

How to Protect Yourself Against Cyberstalking

Follow these tips to protect yourself from cyberstalking:

  • Search your name online often
  • Routinely check your credit reports
  • Avoid becoming friends on social media with people you have never met in person
  • Update your social media profiles often and ensure they do not provide too much personal information
  • Perform a social media security check every six months
  • Change online passwords often
  • Do not share your computer or other mobile devices with people you do not know
  • Do not log into financial accounts using unsecured public Wi-Fi
  • Do not open attachments or click on links in emails sent by people you do not know

Are you the victim of cyberstalking? Call the office of The Senators Firm to schedule a free consultation today.