Cyberbullying in Connecticut
There have been bullies as long as there have been schools. Many states across the nation are passing zero-tolerance policies to try and address the problem of bullying at school. With the dawn of the technological age and explosion of social media, a new style of bullying is emerging with the legal community struggling to keep up.
What Is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying, is when an individual uses a computer network to harass another person. Under Connecticut law, it is classified as a Class C misdemeanor if you use an electronic communication to:
- Cause someone or engage in conduct that causes someone to fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person;
- Engage in an activity or conduct that causes the victim to suffer emotional distress;
- Threaten a victim or their family in a way that causes a reasonable apprehension of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, or illegal confinement; and
- Solicit, ask, or request that another person commit a criminal act against the victim.
Cyberbullying can also be committed by one who operates a website. It is illegal in Connecticut to maintain a website that is open to others or any third party that:
- Makes harassing statements against a victim;
- Threatens the immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, or illegal confinement to the victim or their family;
- places the victim in a reasonable fear of immediate or future bodily harm, sexual assault, or illegal confinement to the victim or their family; and
- Asks or request another to commit a crime against another.
What Kind of Electronics Can Be Used in Cyberbullying
The law in Connecticut lays out the various ways and methods one can commit the crime of cyberbullying. These methods include but are not limited to the use of:
- A cell phone;
- Text message; and
- Instant message.
Connecticut law also lays out what is legally meant by the term “harassment.” For the Connecticut Cyberbullying law, harassment is any conduct directed at a specific person that either alarm, torments, or otherwise terrorize that person.
What Is the Punishment for Cyberbullying
Cyberstalking or cyberbullying is a class C misdemeanor in Connecticut law. A conviction of a Class C misdemeanor carries a punishment of imprisonment between one and three months as well as a fine of up to $500. The law across our nation is struggling to keep up with the new developments and capabilities of social media platforms and our technological devices.
If you or a loved one has been accused of cyberbullying or cyberstalking, contact a skilled Fairfield County criminal defense attorney today. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today at 203-348-5846.