Is cyberbullying a serious charge in Arizona? There are plenty of news stories about cyberbullying these days, but you need to know about how the law views these situations in Arizona. What might be seen as harmless or minor behavior may not be classified that way in court. Cyberbullying is always evolving in a legal sense, so make sure that you have consulted with your criminal defense lawyer before speaking to the police in a case where you are being accused.
Basics of Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying definitions and laws are always changing because of the many different applications on the internet where cyberbullying might occur. Presently, cyberbullying relates to situations where another person is being intimidated or harassed. Under Arizona law, harassment can include situations where a reasonable person might be seriously annoyed, alarmed, or otherwise harassed. If the individual who is alleging the harassment feels this way, the perpetrator could face criminal charges.
Since cyberbullying has become such a big issue in schools, Arizona law now requires that schools maintain responsibility for enforcing policies that prohibit bullying on school property, events, or on school busses. This includes electronic technology, networks, forums, communications, or mailing lists. If your minor child has been accused of cyberbullying and is facing criminal charges, you need to consult with a Mesa criminal defense lawyer. A conviction could definitely impact the future of a young person, and it’s in your best interests to respond to the charges with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Penalties for a person convicted of cyberbullying will always depend on the degree of the offense charged. For minor infractions, an individual might be charged with a misdemeanor. This carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a possible fine if the charge is misdemeanor harassment or misdemeanor threatening/ intimidating conduct.
If the situation is more serious, you could be looking at felony aggravated harassment charges. These could include hefty fines and up to two years in prison.
What to Do If Charged
There’s no doubt that cyberbullying can leave scars for victims, but an unfair charge of cyberbullying has the potential to shape a minor or adult’s life forever. Even if you don’t believe the allegations are true or you think that the other party has vastly exaggerated an incident, you need to respond professionally with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
With such serious penalties on the line and the potential for a damaged reputation, you should not try to handle a cyberbullying charge on your own. While this might seem like a misunderstanding or a situation that has been blown out of proportion, you are unlikely to feel this way if you are suddenly hit with criminal penalties and a record. Instead of trying to manage it on your own, contact a criminal defense attorney who can walk you through what to expect and help you put together a comprehensive plan for defense. Don’t let a cyberbullying charge damage your future- fight for your rights and get a criminal defense lawyer you can trust.
This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to www.mycriminaldefenselawyeraz.com, or contact an attorney in your area.