The Internet has become the defining technology of the modern age. Just thirty years ago, it would have been unthinkable to most people that the shared knowledge of humanity would be instantly accessible from a phone in our pocket. But that is the world we live in, and there is no question that the proliferation of the internet has been a positive development for our society. However, just as the internet can be used for good—reaching out to distant relatives, collaborating with colleagues across the world—it can also be weaponized for crime.
The fact that we can easily find and reach out to our loved ones via technology is a wonderful aspect of the internet. That ease of communication unfortunately also makes it easy to reach out to, and receive communications from those that we don’t want to hear from. Ex girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands, and wives. Bullies from long ago and even troublesome neighbors. If you have any kind of presence on the internet, whether it be from advertising or social media, it is likely that those unwanted people from your past can track you down. And sometimes the temptation to reach out to long lost lovers can be too much to handle thanks to the ease of the internet. Unfortunately, doing so can land you in hot water with the law. If you’ve been charged with a crime arising from conduct that happened over the internet, you should not hesitate to contact a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer right away.Elements of Sexual Cyber-Harassment
The crime of sexual cyber-harassment is based on the understanding by lawmakers that people are going to take sexually explicit photographs of themselves to use or to send to others. However, those that take those photos are entitled to a reasonable expectation that the image will remain private and will not be distributed by those that have consensual access to the image. According to research cited by the legislature, it is an increasingly common practice for people in possession of a sexually explicit image of another to publish or otherwise disseminate that image without the consent of the depicted. This can obviously result in extreme embarrassment and emotional distress for the subject of the image. Especially when an image is published on a website, it usually means that the image is stuck in cyberspace forever, causing unlimited damage to the victim. Whether you are the victim of this type of action or are accused of committing it, you should reach out to a Sarasota criminal lawyer to discuss the options that may be available to you.
In order to prove someone guilty of the offense of sexual cyber-harassment, the prosecution must prove certain elements beyond and to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt. The state must prove that the defendant willfully and maliciously sexually cyber-harassed another person. Sexual cyber-harassment is defined as the publication to an internet website or dissemination through electronic means a sexually explicit image of a person containing personal identification information of the depicted person. Personal identification information can include the person’s name, date of birth, or physically unique identifiers like the person’s face. A conviction for sexual cyber-harassment is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. However, if the defendant has a prior conviction, the offense can be charged as a third degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The offense of sexual cyber-harassment can be a serious one and you should not attempt to face it alone. Speak to a dedicated Sarasota criminal lawyer right away.Talk to our Lawyers Today
The attorneys at Hanlon Law have the experience and skills needed to tackle complex internet based cases. If you’ve been charged with cyber-harassment, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a consultation today at 941.462.1789.