Cyber-Harassment

As the internet develops, so do cyber crimes. With a veil of anonymity, a person can now easily harass anyone on a virtual plane. This issue of cyber-harassment has been exacerbated even further by the growth of social media platforms. The offenses can range from cruel messages to direct threats to a person's life.

New York law does not outline a specific statute for cyber-harassment. However, cyber-harassment can fall under harassment and lead potentially harsh penalties. A person charged with aggravated harassment faces serious penalties including heavy fines and even possible jail time. 

Any person who has been charged or accused of cyber-harassment, should seek legal counsel immediately.

Attorney for Cyber-Harassment in Queens, New York

Have you found yourself with cyber-harassment allegations? Are you unsure on what to do next? It is important that you stay silent with authorities. Do not speak to the police. Preserve your rights today by calling an experienced criminal defense attorney at Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner.

Cyber-harassment and other harassment-related charges should not be taken lightly. Get in contact with an attorney at Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner. We accept clients throughout New York City, including Brooklyn in Kings County, Manhattan in New York County, Queens in Queens County, and The Bronx in Bronx County.

Start your plan of defense now. Call us at 718-261-5600, or simply submit an online contact form today.

Overview for Cyber-Harassment Charges in New York


Elements to Cyber-Harassment Offenses in Queens, New York

New York does not have specific laws when it comes to digital crimes. This does not mean the District Attorney does not prosecute those who commit cyber-harassment. A person, who is continuously harassing someone through digital means, may be charged with aggravated harassment in the second degree.

New York Penal Law § 240.30 does outlines the activities that would lead to a charge of aggravated harassment, or cyber-harassment. For a person to be guilty of aggravated harassment in the second degree he or she:

  • With the intent to harass another person, the alleged offender either:
    • Communicates, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, by computer, or any other electronic means, or by mail, or by transmitting or delivering any other form of communication, a threat to cause physical harm to, or unlawful harm to the property of, such person or a member of such person's same family or household.
    • Communicates, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, by computer or any other electronic means, or by mail, or by transmitting or delivering any other form of communication, a threat to cause physical harm, or unlawful harm to the property of, such person, and the actor knows or reasonably should know that such communication will cause such person to reasonably fear harm to such person's physical safety or property.

Take note, that the terms "or any electronic means" can apply to any form of cyber-harassment. This means that if you contact a person through social media, a forum, email, instant messaging, or any other type of digital communication, it can still be considered aggravated harassment under New York law.


Examples of Cyber-harassment

Digital crimes can be performed through various platforms. Cyber-harassment can involve types of social media, different websites, and even the ability to hack into different technology networks. The following are some examples of actions that could be considered cyber-harassment:

  • Making online death threats
  • Repeatedly contacting someone using social media to post offensive content
  • Publishing another peron’s identity and personal information online (otherwise known as "doxxing")
  • Posing as someone else online and creating fake accounts to impersonate another
  • Posting rumors and misinformation on social media, messaging sites, and discussion groups
  • Hacking into and vandalizing websites with defamatory information about another

Penalties for Cyber-harassment under New York Law

Cyber-harassment is normally charged as aggravated harassment in the second degree. Repeat offenders, however, may be charged with aggravated harassment in the first degree. Aggravated harassment in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.

The maximum penalties for a Class A misdemeanor includes:

  • Possible fine up to $1,000; and
  • Jail term for up to one year.

In some cases, a person may have been convicted for cyber-harassment crimes in the past. Aggravated harassment in the first degree is a Class E felony.

The maximum penalty for a Class E felony includes:

  • A possible fine determined by the court; and
  • A prison term for up to four years.

New York Statute of Limitations for Cyber-harassment

Charges for cyber-harassment may not always be filed right away. The time limit for the prosecution to formally file charges against an alleged offender is called the statute of limitations, which varies based on the crime and by the level of offense. Most Class A misdemeanors have a  statute of limitations of two years. However, a felony charge in New York has a statute of limitations of five years.  There is no statute of limitations for a murder charge.


Additional Resources


New York Harassment Laws – Visit the official website for New York's laws and regulations. See the different specifics and definitions for harassment crimes under New York laws. Read more on the penalties, admissible defenses, and other offenses related to cyber-harassment.

New York Cyber-harassment Bill – Visit the official website for the New York State Senate. Gain access to a bill that is currently in committee by the New York State Senate. Read more on how the bill creates the a new crime of cyber-harassment in New York. See the increased penalties for both harassment and stalking crimes when committed by an adult against a child.

Cyber-bullying – Visit the official website fort New York State Attorney General, Barbara D. Underwood, where you can learn more about cyber-bullying, the various examples of cyber-bullying, and resources to help fight cyber-bullying if it is happening to you or your child.


Defense Lawyers for Cyberharassment Crimes in Queens, NY

Cyber-harassment is not something to be taken lightly. A person accused of cyberharassment may be charged with aggravated harassment in the second degree. It is important that you stay ahead and informed about your case. Take the first step in your defense by gaining legal representation from [firm] today.

The attorneys at Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner believe every person has a right to fair and speedy trial. We have a passion for criminal defense, and want to help protect your rights. Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner is compassionate with clients, yet methodical in the courtroom. Our attorneys will exhaust every possible resource to help formulate the best possible defense for your case. Side yourself with an attorney who is effective and efficient, call us at 718-261-5600 today.

The attorneys at Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner represent those accused of harassment and stalking crimes throughout Queens County including The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

Stay ahead of the prosecution. Contact Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner at 718-261-5600 today or submit an online contact form for your free consultation today.


This article was last updated on November 2, 2018.

 

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Rochelle Berliner
Rochelle Berliner

Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...

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