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Is cyberstalking a crime in Colorado?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2024 | Criminal Defense |

In recent years an increasing amount of daily activities have been conducted online. Examples include shopping, business transactions and banking.

Importantly, the way we communicate has largely shifted online. Both positive and negative communications can be sent online. The legislature in Colorado understands this, which is why the law on stalking in the state extends to cyberstalking.

Defining cyberstalking

Cyberstalking involves the use of electronic devices to cause another person to feel threatened or distressed. The threat must be credible and there must be a pattern of behavior that would cause any reasonable person to suffer emotional distress.

Some common examples of cyberstalking include:

  • Repeatedly sending threatening emails or text messages
  • Sending pictures of an individual, their workplace or home address to indicate that they are being watched
  • Repeated threats to harm the victim, their family members or pets
  • Spreading malicious rumors about a person online
  • Using online devices to illegitimately obtain personal information about a person
  • Using tracking devices to monitor someone’s movements without their permission

These are just some examples. Any repeated online activity that would cause a reasonable person to feel distressed may amount to cyberstalking. Cyberstalking can apply to friends, family members or complete strangers.

What are the penalties for cyberstalking?

Cyberstalking is a serious offense and it can be charged as a felony. Potential penalties include a one to four-year prison sentence for first offenders and up to eight years in prison for repeat offenders.

The law on cyberstalking is complex. If you are facing accusations of this nature, it’s imperative to seek further legal guidance at the earliest opportunity.