Cyberstalking

As technological innovations have increased significantly over the past two decades, the laws have been evolving in an effort to catch up with the evolving technology. As such, there are a number of crimes that involve making use of the internet.

First, in addition to the traditional charge of stalking, the Florida Statutes now include “cyberstalking” as well. Someone engages in “cyberstalking” when they

“engage in a course of conduct to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, image, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person…” and the communication is “causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.”

While this type of behavior rises to the level of a crime and is chargeable as a first-degree misdemeanor under Florida law, it also serves as grounds for the recipient of the communications to Petition the courts for an injunction against the individual perpetrating the cyberstalking.

Sexual Cyberharrassment or “Revenge Porn” laws

In late 2015, Florida passed the “Sexual Cyberharrassment Act” to make it a crime to post a “sexually explicit image” of another on the internet. The statute defines a “sexually explicit image” is “any image depicting nudity…or depicting a person engaging in sexual conduct.”

Under Florida law, to “sexually cyberharass” means

“to publish to an Internet website or disseminate through electronic means to another person a sexually explicit image of a person that contains or conveys the personal identification information of the depicted person without the depicted person’s consent, contractor to the depicted person’s reasonable expectation that the image would remain private, for no legitimate purpose, with the intent of causing substantial emotional distress to the depicted person.”

In a social-media and technology-driven world, it is becoming all too common that people are sharing these “sexually explicit images.” Just because someone shares these types of images of themselves with another person does not give the other person the ability to do whatever they please with those images.

If you are charged with an internet crime, please reach out to us for a consultation at (727) 933-0015. The attorneys at the Lopez Law Group are ready, willing and able to defend you against these allegations.