Wyoming’s Laws on Cyberstalking
The internet has made it extremely easy to look someone up online. Anyone can pull out a phone and search for someone they used to know on social media with just a few clicks.
While some people may only look up classmates they lost touch with or keep in contact with distant family, others may take it too far.
You should be extremely careful about how you act online, as you may end up being charged with cyberstalking.
Wyoming Stalking Laws
The state of Wyoming has no specific laws against cyberstalking; however, you can be charged under the state’s current stalking laws. These laws state that it is illegal for anyone to:
- Harass another person, either by repeatedly calling, messaging, or following him or her;
- Wait outside someone’s school, job, house, or apartment with the purposes of harassing them or making them feel afraid for their safety; and
- Watch someone illegally.
Wyoming state laws also include communicating with someone via an electronic device, meaning a cell phone, computer, or even a pager. If you sent someone multiple explicit messages on Facebook, including “nudes”; repeatedly posted threatening comments on someone’s Instagram account; or followed someone down the street and recorded them with your phone, you could be charged with cyberstalking.
Alongside stalking charges, since 2009, Wyoming has had laws against cyberbullying. Under W.S.A. § 21-4-311, schools must prohibit “harassment, intimidation or bullying,” including through “electronic communication.” While this may only lead to punishments from the school, victims are eligible to file both civil and criminal charges against the defendants. If your child sent threatening messages to a classmate, then they may face juvenile charges and could even be subject to a protection order.
Consequences of Cyberstalking
For adults, the punishments for cyberstalking are obviously much harsher. Not only could you face a stalking protection order, but you can also be charged with misdemeanor stalking, which can lead to:
- Up to six months in a county jail; and/or
- A maximum fine of $750.
However, if you already have a protection order against you, then the charges can be much worse. These orders prohibit defendants from communicating with their victims in any way outside of court proceedings. If your ex-wife has a protection order against you and you message her on Facebook or Instagram, you can face misdemeanor charges of violating a protection order. These charges are the same as a misdemeanor stalking charge, but the court can also slap you with a second charge of stalking. This changes the charge to a felony, which can result in imprisonment for up to 10 years.
In addition, if your alleged stalking involved a minor, then you may also be required to register with the Wyoming Sex Registry.
Protecting Your Rights
You should always be incredibly aware of what you say online and how you act on the internet. Cyberstalking charges can absolutely transform your life. Not only could you face prison time, but you could have to change your day-to-day routine because of a protection order. However, if you contact an experienced Gillette criminal defense attorney at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C., we may be able to get your charges dropped altogether. We have extensive experience defending clients in stalking cases and achieving positive results. If you are facing cyberstalking charges in Campbell County, call our office at (307) 257-7800 to schedule a free consultation.
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