You didn’t want your ex- to think they could outsmart you. So you placed an electronic tracking device on their phone. In so doing, you have violated the Illinois cyberstalking law, which prohibits knowingly, surreptitiously, and without lawful justification, placing electronic monitoring software on an electronic communication device as a means of harassing another person.

However, you may have a defense. There are two exceptions to this rule:

1) The software installer gave clear notice regarding the use of the specific type of tracking software or spyware in advance to the device’s owner or primary user.

2) You obtained written or electronic consent of all owners and primary users of the device on which the tracking software is installed. However, you must have sought the consent through a mechanism that does not seek to obtain any other approvals from the owner or primary user.

Under the law, an electronic communication device may include a wireless telephone, personal digital assistant, or a portable or mobile computer. Electronic monitoring software means any software or application that surreptitiously tracks computer activity and then records and transmits the information to third parties with the intent to cause injury or harm.

Apart from the above defenses, can the state prove you acted knowingly or that you used the device to harass your ex-?

If you have been charged with cyberstalking, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your case for its possible defense. As with most crimes, the state must prove you guilty of all the elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Can the state prove your use of the tracking software was surreptitious? Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the court house may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

Source: Illinois Cyberstalking Law.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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