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Could prosecutors bring cyberbullying charges against your child?

| May 26, 2021 | Firm News |

Technology has advanced at lightning speed in recent decades. While it took an entire warehouse to hold a single computer in the 1960s, many children nowadays walk around with one in their pockets. They may also use computers, tablets or connected video games.  

As a parent, you may want to ask your kids to follow some rules when using technology. After all, if your son or daughter engages in online bullying or harassment, he or she may face criminal charges for cyberbullying.  

What is cyberbullying?

In the Peach State, cyberbullying falls under the category of criminal stalking. Georgia law prohibits using any electronic communication device to intimidate or harass someone else. Intimidation or harassment through phone conversations, text and instant messages, social media posts, online chat rooms and other electronic means may violate the law.  

What constitutes harassment and intimidation?

Georgia law defines both “harassment” and “intimidation” broadly. Any knowing and willful action that causes another person to experience emotional distress or fear may constitute harassment or intimidation.  

What are the penalties for cyberbullying?

Prosecutors are likely to charge cyberbullying as stalking, which is typically a misdemeanor. Upon conviction, an individual may spend up to a year in jail, pay a fine or both. A child may also face academic punishment, such as suspension or expulsion, for engaging in cyberbullying.  

A misdemeanor conviction may plague your child for the foreseeable future, possibly interfering with his or her life goals and aspirations. Consequently, if you suspect the young one in your family may face charges for cyberbullying, you may want to prepare to mount an aggressive defense.