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Mississippi

Last updated: September 4, 2011

97-45-15. "Cyberstalking"; penalties.

(1) It is unlawful for a person to:

(a) 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.

(b) Electronically mail or electronically communicate to another repeatedly, whether or not conversation ensues, for the purpose of threatening, terrifying or harassing any person.

(c) 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 threaten, terrify or harass.

(d) Knowingly permit an electronic communication device under the person's control to be used for any purpose prohibited by this section.

(2) Whoever commits the offense of cyberstalking shall be punished, upon conviction:

(a) Except as provided herein, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two (2) years or a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both.

(b) If any of the following apply, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than five (5) years or a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or both:

(i) The offense is in violation of a restraining order and the person has received actual notice of that restraining order or posting the message is in violation of an injunction or preliminary injunction.

(ii) The offense is in violation of a condition of probation, a condition of parole, a condition of pretrial release or a condition of release on bond pending appeal.

(iii) The offense results in a credible threat being communicated to the victim, a member of the victim's family, or another individual living in the same household as the victim.

(iv) The person has been previously convicted of violating this section or a substantially similar law of another state, a political subdivision of another state, or of the United States.

(3) 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.

Sources: Laws, 2003, ch. 562, 6, eff from and after July 1, 2003.