28 Oct Criminal Clowns in California?
Lately, there has been a wave of creepy clowns harassing children and adults alike. Since mid-August, when the first “creepy clown” sightings were reported in South Carolina’s Greenville County, this kind of offense has been occurring more and more often. It’s even spread all across the world to China and Australia.
Many authorities thought they were hoaxes because the sightings were rarely confirmed and witnesses were reluctant to make formal statements. Even if they were hoaxes at first, they have certainly become real enough now.
The anonymity provided by a clown mask seems to have combined with the anonymity provided by the Internet. Many of these criminal clowns have begun posting threatening and bullying Internet videos. They may be intended as pranks, but these are serious crimes with equally serious penalties.
Bullying Through the Internet and in Person
People accused of crimes such as stalking, harassment, and their Internet counterparts face charges no one should ever want to. The clown hoaxers and the memes they inspire make light of serious criminal charges that will have a very real effect on the defendant’s life despite innocence or circumstances.
Internet crimes such as cyber-harassment and cyberbullying are generally the same thing under California law and commonly follow the victim from the workplace or school back to the supposed safety of home. Two types of online conduct are considered crimes in California:
Causing Fear by Posting Personal Information
Anyone who electronically posts or transmits another person’s personal data or other information that can be used to identify them without permission is committing a grave offense. These actions, as well as sending harassing messages with the intent to cause fear, are considered misdemeanor crimes.
Harassing People Through the Use of Electronic Devices
Using any electronic means of communication to contact another person and spew obscenities or make threats to that person and his or her family or property with the intent to annoy or frighten is also considered a misdemeanor offense.
Very Real Punishments
These are all serious crimes that can have heavy repercussions, but the immediate price for misdemeanor convictions can be a sentence of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Along with these penalties, you may also face a civil lawsuit for your actions, which could cost you even more money.
Free Consultation with a California Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been charged with one of these crimes, you will need help to defend both your finances and your freedom. If you are convicted of these crimes, you will have to deal with the after-effects every time you apply for a job, housing, or schooling.
Don’t put your future wellbeing at risk. Whether you live in Sacramento, Roseville, or Woodland, contact one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers. Crowell Law Offices can provide the help you need.
Call us at 916-303-2800 to speak to an associate immediately, or fill out the form below to schedule your free consultation online.