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Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Criminal Defense Attorney
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What are the laws in North carolina against harassment by

Resolved Question:

What are the laws in North carolina against harassment by text?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.


Harassment by texting can be considered cyberstalking in NC and it is punishable by a 2nd degree misdemeanor. Here is the fill statute:

S 14-196.3

  1. The following definitions apply in this section:
    1. Electronic communication. - Any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature, transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, computer, electromagnetic, photoelectric, or photo-optical system.
    2. Electronic mail. - The transmission of information or communication by the use of the Internet, a computer, a facsimile machine, a pager, a cellular telephone, a video recorder, or other electronic means sent to a person identified by a unique address or address number and received by that person.
  2. It is unlawful for a person to:
    1. Use in electronic mail or electronic communication any words or language threatening to inflict bodily harm to any person or to that person's child, sibling, spouse, or dependent, or physical injury to the property of any person, or for the purpose of extorting money or other things of value from any person.
    2. Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of abusing, annoying, threatening, terrifying, harassing, or embarrassing any person.
    3. Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another and to knowingly make any false statement concerning death, injury, illness, disfigurement, indecent conduct, or criminal conduct of the person electronically mailed or of any member of the person's family or household with the intent to abuse, annoy, threaten, terrify, harass, or embarrass.
    4. Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person's control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.
  3. Any offense under this section committed by the use of electronic mail or electronic communication may be deemed to have been committed where the electronic mail or electronic communication was originally sent, originally received in this State, or first viewed by any person in this State.
  4. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
  5. This section does not apply to any peaceable, nonviolent, or nonthreatening activity intended to express political views or to provide lawful information to others. This section shall not be construed to impair any constitutionally protected activity, including speech, protest, or assembly. (2000-125, s. 1; 2000-140, s. 91.)
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
If the texts that were sent stated they were going to turn the person in to the police for being a fugitive and for drugs would it still be harassment? What happens if charges are filed?
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.


How many texts were sent? Was there any truth to the texts? Was the person asking for any money or anything else of value for NOT turning over the other person?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Three texts were sent. Yes the person has warrants in three states and is buying drugs regularly. No the person wasn't asking for money or anything. Just trying to get the person back for their actions.
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.


Okay, thanks. To be quite honest with you, even if the person who received the texts went to the police to file a report, the police probably would not take it seriously, but even worse, it may alert the authorities to the illegal activities of the person trying to report the harassment. It is not a good idea, in my opinion.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It appears that the texts were sent from a prepaid phone so I don't know if it can be traced back to a specific person. I agree that talking to the police wouldn't be the smartest thing. What happens if charges are filed?
Expert:  LADYLAWYER replied 7 years ago.


If charges are filed, the police will forward the case to the district or state attorney's office for review. If they feel the case has merit, then they will file cyberstalking charges against the person who sent you the texts and that person will be arrested. Then the person will either plea out or go to trial. They could be looking at a $5,000.00 fine and up to 3 years in jail. If they have no priors, most likley they will pay a fine and get probation. If you have any more questions, I will be happy to answer them. Please don't forget to accept one of my answers so I can receive credit for helping you this evening. Thanks!

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