Cyberbullying can be a tough thing for a kid to deal with, and it can be nearly impossible to escape. Years ago, the bullying had to be done in person. Now people can reach out and bully others over the internet and popular social media apps like Snapchat. This can be traumatic for youngsters, so it is no surprise that some states have begun to address them with new laws and regulations. New York does not have a particular criminal statute for cyberbullying, but it can be prosecuted as a crime in this state. A New City, New York juvenile crime lawyer can tell you more.
In New York State, defendants who are accused of cyberbullying others can be charged with harassment. These crimes can be punished by:
These punishments are mostly for acts that are designed to annoy or irritate the victim, but there is no implicit threat. If the cyberbully begins to commit acts that cause a victim to fear for their safety, then the crime becomes a class B misdemeanor. That could mean punishments of:
Harassment crimes can also be bumped up to aggravated harassment. This can occur if the bully has prior convictions or if they threaten harm to their victim or damage to the bullied’s property. Someone can also be charged with aggravated harassment if they are committing a hate crime and targeting someone based on a characteristic like race, religion, or sexual orientation. Punishments can include:
These are not the only charges a cyberbully can face though.
Yes, someone engaging in cyberbullying can be charged with stalking in the first, second, third, or fourth degree. These crimes can range from class B misdemeanors to class D felonies. A defendant could face up to seven years in prison.
If your child is charged with a crime as a result of behavior that is seen as cyberbullying, you need to make sure that they can defend themselves against the charges. Our lawyers can look at the facts of the case and determine the best course of action. We might argue that:
It is important that someone helps defend your child from any harassment or stalking charges.
If your child has been accused of cyberbullying and charged with stalking or harassment, they need help defending themselves. Contact the Law Office of Kevin T. Conway and schedule a consultation. We can tell you more about how we can help you protect your child’s rights and defend them from any accusations.