Teens and Cyberbullying Accusations

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 06, 2023 | 0 Comments

Many people's first experience with being accused of criminal wrongdoing involves minor shoplifting infractions. Kids and teens may become curious about testing their boundaries and slip something small, like candy, makeup, or a toy, into their pockets to see if they can get away with it. Oftentimes, their intentions are in no way malicious. They're just trying to gain – through practical experience – knowledge of where they need to draw the line when it comes to their everyday conduct.

Yet, in the Digital Age, this kind of youthful boundary testing is increasingly occurring not within the confines of local storefronts but instead when teens post on social media, send emails, or electronically message their peers in ways that likely don't seem dangerous or particularly harmful at first glance.

If your teen has allegedly crossed the line when testing their boundaries and has been accused of cyberbullying as a result, you need to treat this situation seriously. Juvenile offenses are too often treated by parents as youthful indiscretions that are relatively inconsequential. In reality, an untold number of your child's future opportunities – and their well-being, as a result – could be at stake if you don't act now. To learn more, call 888-535-3686 or connect with the Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm online to talk to us about your child's case today.

Cyberbullying Offenses in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the criminal offense that stems from cyberbullying behavior is known as cyber harassment. Someone can be convicted of this offense if it's proven that they intended to harass the victim and engaged in specific conduct in pursuit of that aim while online. This conduct often involves:

  • Threats to physically harm someone or their property
  • Facilitation of the creation and/or distribution of indecent material about the victim with the intent to harm them

When teens allegedly commit the internet crime of cyber harassment, they can be charged with a crime of the fourth degree, which is an indictable crime (referred to elsewhere as a felony). If a teen is charged as an adult, they could face up to 18 months in prison for cyberbullying. As a result of shifting approaches to this issue inspired by the suicide of a New Jersey teen who died by suicide as a result of cyberbullying, those teens who are still in school may face significant academic challenges related to their conduct, even if they aren't charged as an adult in criminal court.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If your teen has been accused of cyberbullying, you may be tempted – especially if you believe that they're guilty – to let them “learn their lesson the hard way.” While it's unquestionably important for a guilty, unrepentant teen to experience consequences for knowingly harming another, it isn't a good idea to put their entire future on the line by failing to defend against the charges they're facing. Teens' brains are still developing, and a single mistake in judgment or misunderstanding shouldn't cost them the benefit of opportunity down the road.

The compassionate Criminal Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can help you and your teen navigate this challenging time, no matter what the specific ins and outs of your family's situation may be. Tell us about your case today by calling 888-535-3686 or by submitting a contact form on our website online. We look forward to providing you with personalized professional guidance based on your teen's unique circumstances.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

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