My question involves criminal law for the state of: California and Texas
I am here in search of advice on a complicated situation I have gotten myself into. Perhaps it is not so drastic as it seems but I have never been in any sort of trouble and do not wish to start now. I apologize ahead of time if the lost gets lengthy but I do not know which details are trivial and its a somewhat complicated situation.
Recently I joined a forum seeking advice on a hobby I was looking to get into. Everything was going well until one member decided there was something about me he didn't like. He began belittling me in front of everybody on several different things including my grammar and monetary life choices. He even went so far as to post a full page comedy skit on my thread in which the humor was at my expense.
Angered, I made a comment about him seeming jealous. He then tried to turn other members in the thread against me by insinuating that I meant they were all jealous. I accused him of stirring up the crowd so that he could hide amongst it. This really lit a fire under his butt for some reason and he made a statement along the lines of "I'm not hiding from anything! Here is my full name ____!"
Maybe it was a well thought out bait technique or perhaps he didnt think I would act on it, but I did. I googled his name and used the readily available personal information I found to fuel the fire. I sent him a few messages about the dilapidated state of his abode (as I viewed it on google earth) as well as some other nasty insults about his home life that I was shamefully goaded into making.
At this point my defense had become so enraged and so personal it really turned the tables in a manner that made it seem like more of an attack. He began telling the other members that I was cyberstalking him and showed everyone the messages. He began quoting some California law about cyberstalking which I didn't even know existed. It did mention harassment, which we had both done to each other at this point, but it also said I had to have made a credible threat to his or his families lives, and I definitely never did! I even offered to send him money to help with the renovations his house clearly needed. Granted that was after telling him that after seeing the way he lives I had a newfound sympathy for him, but the offer was still there with the offhanded insult... No threats. He continued to say what big trouble I was in.
Anyhow he was a senior more and my counter attack was admittedly pretty viscous so I was the one who got the banned. And in the meantime they still have my thread open and are continuing to bash me...which really seems like some of the very harassment described in the law I was quoted.
To conclude... in my opinion I may have been dangerously close but I do not feel that what I did qualifies as cyberstalking.... I feel this way for four main reasons: my actions were preceded by a heated argument, I was challenged to look into his background with the "here is my full name" statement, I was also harassed and in a sense continue to be,and last but not least I did not make any threats... On the contrary in fact.
Does he have any ground to stand on in pursuance of his alleged case of me cyberstalking him? If he decides to act what are his options? What should I expect? What sort of time frame can I expect anything to come of this if he decides to press charges tomorrow, let's say? What effect, if any, will his living in Texas and my living in California have on the situation?