New York Student Cyberbullying Defense Attorney

Cyberbullying is essentially harassing or threatening someone online. It is a criminal offense in New York which can result in fines, jail time and a permanent criminal record. The latter is something students need to take seriously as it can impede qualifying for financial aid and obtaining employment.

If you are a student facing cyberbullying charges, contact an experienced New York student cyberbullying defense attorney to review the charges against you. Remember, there is often a fine line between simply expressing anger and harassing someone. That is where having experienced legal counsel can help the most.

Legal Definition of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is punished as cyber-harassment. According to NY Penal Law § 240.30, cyber-harassment occurs when a person communicates, anonymously or otherwise, with another person by transmitting or delivering any form of written communication or causes a communication to be initiated by electronic means with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten, or alarm that person, that person.

That is a very broad definition which relies strictly on intent. Just like bullying on a playground, there may be different interpretations to what constitutes bullying – or in this case – what constitutes harassing, annoying, threatening, or alarming someone else.

While every case is unique and will depend on the facts and circumstances surrounding it, courts will generally determine whether bullying occurred by looking at what a reasonable person would conclude if exposed to the same situation. That can be a good, or bad, defense depending on what happened – which is why it so important to retain a New York student cyberbullying defense attorney.

Potential Cyberbullying Penalties

New York classifies cyberbullying as a Class A misdemeanor which can result in spending up to one year in prison, paying fines of up to $1,000, or both.

Students who are under 16 can be charged as adults or juveniles depending on prior criminal behavior and the severity of the behavior. However, first-time offenders may be able to have their charges dismissed or mitigated in a plea bargain. 

Again, every situation is different, but it is important to know all the facts and legal defenses available before making a decision which can affect the rest of someone’s life.

New York Misdemeanor Convictions Result in a Permanent Criminal Record

New York does not allow misdemeanors or felonies to be expunged, or sealed, from someone’s criminal record. That means that an individual will have to disclose their conviction every time they are asked about their criminal background when completing employment applications, applying for financial aid or grants, or filling out a rental application.

More and more employers, financial institutions, and landlords require criminal background checks as technology has made doing so easy and inexpensive.

The bottom line is that students who are charged with cyberbullying may have numerous defenses available to them, and the best way to learn of these potential defenses is by contacting a lawyer.

How a New York Cyberbullying Defense Attorney Can Help

A New York student cyberbullying defense attorney can help you make the decision which is right for your future, protect your rights, and be an advocate between law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and school administrators. Call a lawyer to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to find out more.