Cyberbullying and cyberstalking are often prosecuted under Section 2709, which is the general stalking statute in Pennsylvania. It is when the defendant communicates with the alleged victim in a threatening way with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy the alleged victim. Also, it could be with the intent to bully the alleged victim or put them in fear of bodily injury.
Cyberbullying frequently arises on college campuses because, with many young people in a new social setting, students often take to the internet to anonymously or publicly to post their opinions of each other to joke or try to impress classmates. These statements may cross into the areas of threat and intent to harm, alarm, or annoy. In addition, students may, without the intent to alarm or annoy, repeatedly contact someone or send someone messages in an attempt to start a friendship or romantic relationship, but the intent is mistaken as harassment. If the alleged victim takes this in a threatening way, they may report it and initiate an investigation for cyberbullying or cyberstalking.
If you are facing cyberbullying allegations, you may want to obtain a seasoned student defense attorney right away. A dedicated Philadelphia campus cyberbullying lawyer could advocate for you throughout the process.
Some of the possible consequences of being charged or found guilty of cyberbullying on campus are serious. This charge could have serious collateral consequences as schools and the public, in general, take bullying seriously, especially with recent news about suicide rates being elevated because of bullying, both cyberbullying and in-person. It is taken very seriously by a school institution and no less serious than physically placing someone in fear. Additionally, criminal charges could carry jail time and fines.
Even if cyberbullying takes place entirely on a campus setting or entirely over the internet, harassment and annoyance could rise to the level of criminal charges under Pennsylvania law. Therefore, it is crucial for defendants to consult with a campus cyberbullying lawyer in Philadelphia as soon as possible.
Frequently, the sort of evidence that is collected during cyberbullying investigations is a student’s cell phone or computer. The complaining witness will often provide copies of text messages or other messages they received from various websites and social media. The investigators may also go through the social media account of the prospective student or what they believe to be the social media account of the student that they believe was the bully.
There are many benefits to obtaining a Philadelphia campus cyberbullying lawyer. An experienced attorney could help the accused person understand the legal process and how to protect themselves. A person without an attorney might find it difficult to mount their own defense and may be more likely to admit to things that they should not admit to without first speaking to counsel in the face of charges. Fortunately, a defense lawyer could help protect an individual’s best interests and fight for a favorable outcome. If you are facing charges, call today.