Mount Holly Criminal Lawyer: Cyber Bullying Crimes in New Jersey
The act of bullying has been around for as long as anyone cares to remember. Cyberbullying, on the other hand, is a relatively new way of using the Internet to torment a person or group of people. The Internet is unique because it creates a much larger audience who can view the abusive content and the content may stay open to view forever, unless it can be taken down by someone with the authority to do so. The content of the cyberbullying may also be much crueler and abusive if the website where the content is posted allows the users to post anonymously. In situations wherein the cyberbullying is more serious, the conduct may be classified as cyberstalking.
In New Jersey, there are three main statutes that deal with cyberbullying. The first statute, N.J. Stat. Ann. Section 2C:33-4.1, is New Jersey’s cyber harassment law. Under this section, an individual can be charged with cyber harassment for any offense that includes behavior that is in electronic format and is intended to annoy or alarm the victim. The sort of behavior that fits into this category of cyber harassment includes making threats of injury or harm to a person or their property or knowingly sending content electronically that is intended to harm a person emotionally or place a person in reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm. Such acts may include posting abusive or humiliating content via social media or sending threatening text messages to a person’s cellular device.
The second statute, N.J. Stat. Ann. Section 2C:12-10, is intended for more serious offenses of cyberbullying whereby an individual engages in two or more acts directed at a victim which makes the victim reasonably fear for the safety of their life or that of another’s. These acts of cyberbullying are often so offensive and serious that they are charged as stalking or cyber stalking in New Jersey. The repetition of the conduct increases the severity of the situation to such a level that it can be categorized not as harassment or bullying, but as stalking.
Finally, the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, or N.J. Stat. Ann. Section 18A:37-13.2, was adopted in 2011 by the New Jersey legislature after hearing recommendations from the New Jersey Commission on Bullying in Schools. This Act defines the contours of bullying, requires school faculty and staff to be trained to identify and handle bullying and suicide attempts and defines procedures for reporting, investigating, documenting and handling instances of bullying that occur on public school campuses.
Mount Holly Criminal Lawyer Michele Finizio Helps Families Affected by Cyberbullying
The vastness of the Internet’s audience, the ability to communicate from a distance and the permanency of the content has made cyberbullying a reality that many families are having to deal with. If you or a loved one are facing charges related to cyberbullying, call us today at 856-242-7300 to speak to a Mount Holly criminal lawyer at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio or contact us online. We understand the difficulty of facing cyberbullying charges and we will aggressively fight on your behalf.
Our offices are conveniently located in Moorestown, New Jersey so we can serve clients throughout South Jersey including Cherry Hill and all of Camden County, Burlington County, Gloucester County and Salem County.