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What Are the Penalties for Cyberbullying as a Juvenile in Texas?

Posted on in Juvenile Law

Karnes City juvenile crime defense attorney

Cyberbullying is the modern version of bullying that, unfortunately, many kids experience while growing up. This term cyberbullying includes any threats, humiliation, or harassment through the use of technology. The constant connection with smartphones and tablet or laptop computers makes this form of bullying much more serious and intense than that which existed before modern technology. Rather than just facing such harassment at school, students now have this form of bullying following them everywhere they go. The perpetrator can also remain anonymous, making it somewhat difficult to pinpoint the source of the student’s bullying. 

What Does Cyberbullying Look Like?

Cyberbullying is constantly evolving and changing as updates are made to technology and social media websites. That being said, there are some common tactics that are used to target individuals:

  1. Social Media: The most common platform used for cyberbullying is social media sites. Nowadays, most kids have social media accounts, keeping them connected online at all times. This also makes it easy for cyberbullies to hack accounts and make humiliating posts, impersonate the individual by creating a new account in the student’s name, or using their own account to target the victim. Social media accounts rank individuals by the number of followers they have and the number of likes they get. Cyberbullying on this platform is typically the most socially debilitating, reaching the highest number of people.

  2. Texting: This form of cyberbullying is extremely targeted and more personal. The perpetrator can directly contact the individual without anyone else’s knowledge. Many kids do not want to tell others about being bullied, and because of this, threats or harassment through texting can often fly under the radar. If law enforcement does get involved, it can be easy to track the individual behind the texting.

  3. Websites: Some individuals have been known to create websites to harass multiple students a single school or in a social group. This allows many people to be harassed at once, and numerous people may witness the humiliation. This form of cyberbullying can be ended quickly once law enforcement becomes involved. However, it can be difficult to erase all forms of digital evidence.

What Are the Penalties for Cyberbullying?

Bullying is considered a Class B misdemeanor in Texas. The penalties for this level of an offense include up to 180 days in confinement and $2,000 in fines. Certain situations can increase the offense to a Class A misdemeanor. If it is a second offense, or if the offense was committed against a minor with the intent to cause the child to commit suicide or seriously themselves, the offense becomes a Class A misdemeanor. This could result in a jail sentence of up to one year and $4,000 in fines. The state of Texas takes these charges very seriously, making it imperative to find an experienced criminal defense attorney to avoid receiving the harshest punishments.

Call a Jourdanton, TX Juvenile Crime Defense Attorney

Offenses committed as a minor are often done without full knowledge of the offense and the potential legal consequences. However, that single offense can greatly impact your child’s future and chances for success. At BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys, we understand that children make mistakes and deserve a second chance. If your child has been charged with social media harassment or cyberbullying, contact our Floresville criminal defense lawyers at 830-769-1010 for legal help.

 

Sources:

https://stompoutbullying.org/get-help/about-bullying-and-cyberbullying/dont-be-cyberbullied/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIlOyi8YjT4wIVSr3ACh0CRw0pEAAYAiAAEgJ0g_D_BwE

https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/85R/billtext/pdf/SB00179F.pdf

https://texaspolitics.utexas.edu/archive/html/just/features/0201_01/crimeandp.html

 

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