Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

What are the Penalties for Federal Cyberstalking and Harassment?

By Spodek Law Group | October 18, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 19, 2023)

Last Updated on: 19th October 2023, 02:04 pm

What are the Penalties for Federal Cyberstalking and Harassment?

Cyberstalking and online harassment have become major issues in recent years. With the rise of social media and digital communication, it’s easier than ever for people to harass or stalk others online. This can lead to serious emotional distress and safety concerns for victims.

When cyberstalking or harassment crosses state lines or utilizes interstate systems like the internet, it becomes a federal crime. Federal laws provide penalties for various cyberstalking and harassment activities. Understanding these laws and penalties can help victims protect themselves and seek justice.

What Activities Are Covered Under Federal Cyberstalking and Harassment Laws?

There are a few key federal laws that prohibit cyberstalking and online harassment:

  • Interstate Stalking Law (18 U.S.C. § 2261A) – Makes it illegal to travel across state lines or use interstate communication systems like the internet to stalk or harass someone and place them or their family in fear of harm.
  • Interstate Communications Law (18 U.S.C. § 875) – Prohibits making interstate threats to kidnap or injure someone. This includes online threats.
  • Telephone Harassment Law (47 U.S.C. § 223) – Makes it illegal to use telecommunications, like the internet, to harass, abuse, or threaten someone.
  • Interstate Violation of Protection Order (18 U.S.C. § 2262) – Prohibits violating a protection order by using interstate travel or communication.

So any type of cyberstalking or harassment that utilizes interstate systems falls under federal jurisdiction. This includes activities like:

  • Repeatedly sending threatening messages online
  • Posting harassing comments on someone’s social media
  • Sharing private photos without consent
  • Tracking someone’s location or activities online
  • Sending explicit images to a minor
  • Threatening physical harm via email or messaging apps

The communication does not actually have to cross state lines if it utilizes an interstate system like the internet. The federal laws focus on the method of communication, not necessarily the location.

What Are the Penalties for Violating Federal Cyberstalking and Harassment Laws?

The penalties for federal cyberstalking and harassment depend on the specific circumstances of the case. But generally:

  • Interstate stalking can be punished by up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Penalties increase if the stalking violates a restraining order or if the victim is a minor.
  • Interstate threats can result in up to 5 years in prison.
  • Telephone harassment can lead to up to 2 years in prison.
  • Violating a protection order has penalties similar to interstate stalking.

If the cyberstalking or harassment leads to the death or bodily harm of the victim, penalties can go up to life in prison.

Factors like the number of incidents, severity of distress caused to the victim, and criminal history will impact the ultimate sentence. But cyberstalking and harassment are taken very seriously under federal law.

How Can Victims Report Federal Cyberstalking and Harassment Crimes?

If you are the victim of cyberstalking or online harassment, here are some steps to take:

  • Document everything – Save messages, posts, images, etc. to have evidence. Take screenshots.
  • Report to local police – File a report with your local law enforcement and they can refer the case to federal agencies if appropriate.
  • Contact the FBI – Report the incidents to your local FBI office and/or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
  • Consider a restraining order – You may be able to get a restraining order that prohibits the harasser from contacting you.
  • Increase privacy settings – Review your security and privacy settings on all social media and devices.
  • Preserve evidence – Do not delete anything, as you may need it for an investigation.
  • Seek help – Tell friends, family, coworkers, or a mental health professional for support.

It may take time and persistence to get law enforcement involved. But cyberstalking and harassment often escalate, so reporting early can help prevent worsening behavior.

What Are Some Defenses to Federal Cyberstalking and Harassment Charges?

Some common defenses to federal cyberstalking and harassment charges include:

  • First Amendment – Arguments that the speech was protected free speech, not true threats or harassment. However, true threats and conduct like stalking are not protected.
  • Lack of intent – Arguments that the defendant did not mean to cause distress or make real threats. But repeated messages can imply intent.
  • Misidentification – Claims that someone else sent the harassing communications. But IP addresses and device identifiers can trace activity.
  • Consent – Arguments that the victim consented to communications. However, consent can be revoked, and most cyberharassment statutes specify unwanted contact.
  • No substantial distress – Arguments the victim did not experience significant distress. But the statutes specify “reasonable person” standards that do not require proof of actual distress.

These defenses have mixed success. The totality of evidence usually determines the outcome more than a single defense. But skilled defense lawyers can negotiate reduced charges or sentences.

What Are Some Ways to Prevent Cyberstalking and Harassment?

While we need better laws and enforcement, there are some things individuals can do to protect themselves online:

  • Use privacy settings and limit sharing personal information
  • Be cautious sharing photos or videos, even with people you know
  • Avoid engaging with harassers and report them
  • Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
  • Install antivirus/malware software and keep devices updated
  • Turn off location sharing services on devices and apps
  • Log out of accounts after use and clear caches/browsing history
  • Create alternative anonymous accounts if needed

Harassment often stems from personal information being available to abusers. Limiting that availability can help reduce risks. But ultimately, the responsibility lies with the perpetrators alone.


Cyberstalking and online harassment are growing problems as digital communication expands. But federal laws provide important tools to combat these behaviors and punish offenders. Understanding the laws, penalties, reporting procedures, and defensive strategies can help victims protect themselves. However, we still need better enforcement, prosecution, and prevention of cyber harassment. More education, resources, and support for victims are essential. Everyone has a right to feel safe online.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!